Wednesday, 30 August 2023, 17:54
According to a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, we spend, on average, a total of seven minutes a day capturing selfies. And if we take a month-long holiday we would spend at least three and a half hours of that taking images of ouselves! According to the research, we spend a long time snapping ourselves because of a need to capture the moment, which is more marked during holidays and special occassions.
And, according to this study, it has less to do with ego and how we appear than we think. As the researchers found, in the selfies we take with a context (there is almost always one, unless it is the typical selfie in front of the mirror at home), what we are desperately seeking is to capture the meaning of an experience. That's why there are so many selfies snapped on holidays: we are happy and we want to capture that feeling and transmit it.
The study analysed the responses of more than 2,000 people about their motivations for taking photos with or without themselves. "We found that people have a natural intuition about which perspective to take to capture what they want from the photo," said Zachary Niese, a researcher at Ohio University and lead author of the study. This evidence counters the widely held notion that the main purpose of the selfie is to promote oneself. "It doesn't have to be about vanity," added co-author, Lissa Libby, a research and psychology professor.
However, among the 92 million selfies taken every day in the world, which represents four per cent of all snapshots, there is also a huge amount of posturing. According to a survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre, one in three photos taken by 18-24 year olds is a self-portrait. With millennials spending more than four hours a day on social media, experts say they will take an estimated 25,700 selfies in their lifetime.
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