Why We’re Addicted to Selfies


Courtesy StockVault

Why are we so addicted to the Selfie?  Part of the reason is due to the fact that it is the first time in history where pictures are so readily and instantaneously available.  Every cell phone, from the cheapest to the most expensive, has a camera that can take not just good but great quality pictures.  We no longer need to wait to get them developed, we can view them instantly and retake if necessary.

BBC NEWS delves into this new fascination of the self-portraiture and personal identity.  Preliminary research done by neuroscientist James Kilner, from the University College London, examines the question and along with a panel discussion investigated this new trend that shows up everywhere from Facebook to Instagram.

According to the article, the reason the “selfie” is sweeping the nation is connected to the theory that people are not well educated on their own facial expressions – ‘People have spent years reading and recognizing faces and facial expressions, but they’re no experts at looking at their own faces.’

Since we don’t all just stare at ourselves in the mirror, especially while making facial expressions of emotions, we tend to have an inaccurate representation of what we actual look like.

BBC News explained that a single demonstration proved people could not recreate their own facial expression when shown a photograph of themselves.  In addition, when asked to pick out photographs that looked most like themselves – from a series of manipulated photographs – the people were “very bad” at selecting their original photographs. In fact, they “systematically” selected images that were digitally altered to appear more attractive.

‘People are now able to take an beautiful image that mirrors what they perceive themselves to look like, and that is the science behind selfies.’

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