Selfies: What do they say about you?

Who I am
Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org

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When you arrive in a place, it seems beautiful and, mechanically, almost by inertia, you take the phone to take a selfie and post it on Facebook or Twitter.This act, so common today, was in the past the exception to the rule. Once upon a time a passer-by was asked to take a picture of us because taking it alone was the last option available. But today the selfie is in fashion, it is trendy.

People take selfies anytime of the day, anywhere. While they eat, in bed, walking, alone or in company, with famous people, with their dog, cat or in the bathroom. Selfies have become so common and widespread that extensions (poles or mechanical arms) are even produced to allow us to take pictures ourselves.



However, have you ever wondered how selfies can change your life and what they say about you?

We must note that technology does not just do things for us, it does them for us, consequently, it not only changes the way we do things but also changes us.

Life through the lens

Selfies, like any other photo, interrupt the experience we are experiencing, especially if we waste time uploading them to social networks. Taking a selfie implies putting ourselves on "pause" and sometimes it means putting on "pause" even those around us, taken by the anxiety of wanting to document every moment of our life.

Of course, the desire to capture some moments of our existence has always existed, the problem is that today digital cameras accompany us wherever we go, so they are also much more invasive than before. Therefore, some people have begun to see the world through the digital eye forgetting how to enjoy the real experience.


Narcissistic and psychopathic personality traits

A recent study by Ohio State University researchers revealed that men who post more selfies on social networks also have narcissistic and psychopathic traits.


Of course, it's no surprise that men who post more selfies and spend more time editing images have a narcissistic streak, but this is the first time this has been confirmed by a scientific study. And it's clear that while the research was done on men, the findings could apply perfectly to women as well.

However, the interesting side is that the study also reveals antisocial personality traits. Although in this case the men did not edit the images, but published them directly on social networks, which makes sense given that one of the characteristics of psychopathy is impulsivity.

When self-esteem depends on the body

This study also found that photo editing is linked to high levels of self-objectification, a concept that refers to those who value themselves primarily for their physical appearance, rather than personality traits or abilities and skills. successes. In other words, many of the people who used to post the edited selfies on social networks, based their self-esteem in their physique.

At this point, a vicious circle closes which can become very harmful. People who have a tendency to self-objectify post more selfies in social networks and by receiving positive comments about their physical appearance, they reinforce their behavior. Ultimately, it is artificially increased self-esteem, which does not take into account other personality factors.

In fact, another study conducted at the University of Buffalo revealed that the people who share the most photos on their social networks are those whose self-esteem is primarily based on the opinions of others. This means that they are excessively exposed to the evaluation of others and their emotional state largely depends on the degree of acceptance that their photos have.



Interpersonal relationships suffer from it

One of the most interesting studies on the selfie phenomenon was conducted at the University of Birmingham. These psychologists have found that the more selfies you take, the more compromised are interpersonal relationships. Because?

First, because the people around you may feel excluded or relegated to the background as you emphasize yourself.


Secondly, because they are subject to the stress of having to be ready at all times to smile in front of the camera, because you can't know when the next selfie will be. This tension inevitably leads to irritability.

Thirdly, because a sense of competition is generated between friends, which is not good for healthy relationships.

What is the solution?

It's not that selfies are bad in and of themselves, as they are for any new technology. The problem is that today they are the expression of a society so obsessed with the image that it has embraced narcissism.

It is therefore important to learn to enjoy every moment and to measure the use of technology. The people around us will thank us and our psychological balance will benefit. Remember that sometimes it is more important to enjoy the experience than to immortalize it in a photo. The image will likely get lost among thousands of photos, but the experiences and emotions will stay alive forever in your memory.


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