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Why Are People Obsessed With Taking Selfies?

Why Are People Obsessed With Taking Selfies?

One could be forgiven for thinking that taking a selfie is now the most common (or most annoying) form of self expression. It may be quick for us to silently judge that gal on the train taking a selfie, but lest we forget, we are guilty of it, too, or most of us anyway. But why do we like taking selfies in the first place? Are we just narcissistically just showing off, or is there more to it?

A research team consisting of students hailing from the Brigham Young University has tried to tackle these questions by way of a series of interviews. Initially inspired by their own selfie taking shenanigans, the researchers then did something to satisfy their curiosity by proceeding to conduct a survey in order to gain some insight as to why, in this day and age, people are so obsessed with taking (and then sharing) a self portrait. 

According to the results of their interviews, the research found that there are basically three types of selfie takers -- communicators, autobiographers, and self publicists -- and each of these types have their own motivations for doing the deed.

First are the communicators -- as suggested by what they are called, they primarily see the process of taking a selfie as a form of communication, especially in terms of letting their family, friends, and followers know that they exist, are there in a specific location, or as a way of inviting other people to communicate back. 

Next are the autobiographers. Conventionally speaking, writing an autobiography is really all about chronicling your life -- not necessarily every detail, but those parts you want to let other people know about you. It is the same thing with this selfie take type -- they compile selfies because they want to build a digital photo album, or scrapbook. What distinguishes them from communicators is that a third party is not required -- they can choose to take a selfie for the sake of documenting something, not always because they want to let other people know their current state.

The third type are the self publicists, and these likely consist the most narcissistic of folks. Quite simply, these people want to be their own version of the Kardashians, documenting every inch of their lives for all the world to see. Their motivation is probably the pursuit of fame, or on a deeper level, they just want everybody to view them as more cool, more fun, more beautiful, more powerful, more influential, etc, than they are. 

To know more about this study, check out this link.