Although taking selfies is hugely popular, most people would prefer to see fewer selfies on social media, a study has found.
Selfies are enormously popular on social media. According to Google statistics estimates, about 93 million selfies were taken per day in 2014, counting only those taken on Android devices. The findings showed that compared to the selfies taken by themselves, people attributed greater self-presentational motives and less authenticity to selfies taken by others.
Selfies taken by themselves were also judged as self-ironic and more authentic.
This phenomenon, where many people regularly take selfies but most people don’t appear to like them has been termed the “selfie paradox” by Sarah Diefenbach, Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Germany.
To assess people’s motives and judgements when taking and viewing selfies, the team conducted an online survey of a total of 238 persons living in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The results showed that 77 per cent of the participants regularly took selfies
“One reason for this might be their fit with widespread self-presentation strategies such as self-promotion and self-disclosure” Diefenbach said, in the paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Interestingly, despite 77 per cent of the participants taking selfies regularly, 62-67 per cent agreed on the potential negative consequences of selfies, such as impacts on self-esteem.
This negative perception of selfies was also illustrated by 82 per cent of participants indicating that they would rather see other types of photos instead of selfies on social media.