The word, “selfie” made it into the Oxford Dictionary last week. It was also named as the ‘Word of the Year.’ How utterly depressing. This announcement is worth delving into a little further; What is the “selfie” and why is everyone so addicted to taking them?
Let’s look into ‘selfie’ history…
Apparently, the colloquial term “selfie” originated on home turf, in Australia in 2002 and since then, its use has increased by a whopping 17,000%.
The hashtagged term “#selfie” has been used across social about 40 million times. On Instagram alone, there are 23 million photos hashtagged. It is one of social media’s most loved (and loathed) methods of self expression.
So who takes them? It’s reported that 50% of men and 52% of women on social media have taken a photo of themselves. Even more disturbingly, a whopping 75% of young adults have admitted to the occasional self snap.
So, why are they so popular?
Has our modern-day social world allowed for a mass-explosion of egos? Are we all just looking for a little bit of a confidence boost? …Is it both?
Studies have shown that positive reactions to Facebook profile pictures strongly influence an individual’s perception of self-worth. Positive comments (“babe you look so hot here”) and thumbs up on photos can apparently make all the difference in the confidence levels of a serial “selfie”-taker.
It appears that for many, the version of themselves they share with the Internet, (as highly photo-shopped and censored as it may be) stands as the chief influencer of their “real-life” self esteem. Maybe we’re old fashioned, but shouldn’t the opinions of the people you see and speak to everyday (actual ‘real-life’ friends and family) matter a hell of a lot more than the hundreds of people you don’t really care about on social media?!
There’s no two ways about it, a “selfie” is often a dramatic over-share. Most of the time, they depict moments no one other than the poster cares about. But not all “selfies” were created equal. So, to add light to this rather depressing phenomenon, we’ve created a break down of the most popular selfies, with a rating 0-5. (0 being least cringe-worthy and 5 being gag-inducing. )
Here we go. Introducing the 5 Best Types of Selfie:
1) The Sexy Selfie: (XXX.) This is where the selfie-taker has invited the world to view their most intimate moments/body parts. Why? We’re not so sure… maybe it’s because they’re so damn #hot, or maybe it’s because SnapChat made them think it’s okay. It’s not. The Sexy Selfie is never OK. (5/5)
They’re usually kind of like this:
2) The Animal Selfie: Perhaps a somewhat lesser evil, these “selfie-takers” try and pretend the focus of the photo is on the cute puppy/kitten/abandoned animal (delete as appropriate) in question, whilst still looking ‘oh-so-hot’ in the background. How coincidental you had perfectly flawless make-up and blow-dried hair. Still narcissistic as hell. (3/5)
Not cool. Unless they’re like this. Then they are excellent.
3) The Mundane Selfie: The “selfies” where you’re taking a photo of yourself doing something totally uninteresting, hugely mundane and dramatically boring, but you just had to share it with your 839 Facebook friends. (Think posing in the gym, sitting in the car, trying on clothes, taking photos in the mirror…blah blah blaaaaah) (2/5)
These photos will probably look something like this:
4) The Photoshop selfie: These can just be plain weird, brilliant and ridiculously entertaining. They are most enjoyable when the Photoshop user is completely amateur. 5/5 for effort 5/5 for narcissism 5/5 for low self esteem.
Exhibit A and B. Both are genius.
5) The Failed Selfie: An attempt at taking an amazing photo of yourself that has turned into an epic fail. Out of all the “selfies” out there, these. are. genius! (6/5)
Case in point:
So watch yourself when you’re considering taking the next self-snap!
Written by Steph Nuzzo