If you don’t know what a selfie is, you either grew up without access to the outside world or you just woke up from a long coma. Nearly everybody today takes selfies by using their phone or tablet’s front-facing camera so they can see themselves while photographing themselves.
Although people have been taking pictures of themselves for a lot longer than smartphones (and Instagram!) have existed, the “selfie culture” is probably strong in this generation. Although some may claim that the only reason to take a selfie is narcissism, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fortunately, we have dedicated researchers today that aren’t afraid to put in the work it takes to find out why exactly people take selfies, and their findings may surprise you. This study, published by researchers at Brigham Young University, revealed that there were three types of self-takers.
These people use selfies as a way to share their life’s story with the world. To them, every selfie is an essential reminder of an event in their life, and a way that they can share their unique personality and experiences with others.
Autobiographers often include extras in the background, whether it’s the people there, or an event or location they’re visiting. Rather than merely taking a picture of the sunset, the autobiographer selfie-taker wants to capture how they felt at that moment as well.
This type of selfie-taker intends to use an image to start a conversation. It’s a way for them to reach out to others to try to engage with friends. Most often, they will also be sharing a piece of information in their post, which may or may not have to do with their actual selfie.
Communicators want comments in response to their selfies rather than just a like. They expect people to respond to their question or statement and are using a selfie as a way to catch people’s attention and to make the post more personal to draw people in to talk to them.
This is an artist that is using selfies as a form of art and self-expression. They put actual time into their selfies, from carefully choosing the background to setting up lighting and carefully considering what pose and position they will use.
Self-publicists are looking to be appreciated for their art, and aren’t necessarily looking to start a conversation, nor do they want to remember that moment. They may have a message to share, but their goal is only to get it out there, not to discuss it.
What about you?
Which type of selfie-taker are you? Do you agree with the findings, or do you think that people may post selfies for different reasons?
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About The Author: Originally from Michigan, Melody now enjoys working as a freelance writer from her home in Nicaragua, which she shares with her amazing husband and their crazy cat that was raised on goat’s milk from the time her mother abandoned her at just ten days old. They’re excited to be expecting their first baby, who they thought was a girl, were told was a boy, and then was told was a girl. She also recently finished her first novel and is working on making a cat coloring book.