Several years ago, an Argentine walking through New York spotted Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Sergio Busquets along with their families, who were trying to pose for a panoramic photo, with the famous bridge and the city of Brooklyn behind them. . He didn’t hesitate: he activated the cell phone’s camera and took a selfie to remember. The selfie has become a common way of sharing moments and experiences on social media. Every day, a million selfies are posted on the internet and it is estimated that young people between 20 and 29 years old send, via Facebook, Instagram and similar social networks, almost 26 thousand photos of this type throughout their lives.
The phenomenon, as spectacular as it is controversial, it is investigated by science from different perspectives, including its impact on self-esteem, body image perception, identity and social relationships. Since UNQ Scientific News Agency We explored the scientific evidence in this regard.
What the scientific evidence says
In general, they claim that its excessive use may be related to self-esteem problems, social anxiety and dependence on social networks. For example, a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that people who post more selfies on social media tend to have lower self-esteem and more body image concerns. Another study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, explains that taking selfies can increase stress and anxiety, especially among women.
However, there are also studies that highlight the positive role that photographs can have in lThe construction of digital identity and self-expression.
Research published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that people who take selfies are more likely to explore their identity and express themselves on social media. while the magazine Social Behavior and Personality published an article where he found that taking selfies can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Science is still exploring the effects of selfies on different aspects of human life. Along these lines, a new work published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Sciences analyzes two ways of photographing: the one that consists of capturing the scene without further ado, and selfies. According to the researchers, taking a picture one way or the other would have a different meaning. Whereas when you take a photo capturing a scene with your own eyes what you are looking for is to document a physical experience, when you take a selfie you are representing yourself in the scene with the aim of capturing the deeper meaning of the event.
“Not only did we find that most people take both types of photos in different situations, but it also differs whether the purpose of the photo is to capture the physical experience of the moment or the broader meaning of the moment in your life,” Zachary says Niese, main author of the research.
not everything is vanity
According to Lisa Libby, study co-author and professor of psychology at Ohio State University, the results go against the belief that people take selfies on social networks like Instagram just because they are vain. “These photos you appear in can document the deeper meaning of a moment,” he says. And he adds: “It doesn’t have to be vanity”.
In the research, in which more than 2,000 people participated, they found that individuals are more likely to take selfies when they want to capture the deep meaning of the moment and, moreover, they remember that meaning more when looking at those selfies. The researchers also found that people tend to enjoy their photos more when the perspective matches the purpose they were taking.
“Taking and posting photos is part of everyday life for many people. While popular culture sometimes mocks photographic practices, personal photos have the potential to help people reconnect with their past experiences and build their own narratives,” says Niese.
In short, selfie culture is a complex phenomenon that has both positive and negative aspects. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with these images and use them responsibly and with balance.