Oxford Dictionaries has named its Word of the Year and it is “selfie,” which the authors call “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Whether it’s the duck face smirk or the coyly suggestive close-up, selfies are always a permanent resident of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I think every time I visit my home page on Facebook, it’s composed of literally 50% selfies of my friends. Some social scientists see the selfie trend into the larger scale of narcissism, saying that the self-portraits are an extension of their self-absorption. On the other hand, others view it as nothing more than an outlet for self-expression, which just happen to be shared more publicly via the communication mode of our times — social media.


But why do we do this?


Self-image is important and it’s not always in a narcissistic way. It’s how we define and present ourselves for others to see. We rely on others’ perceptions and judgments to develop our social self. The profile picture or avatar is a way for people to present a certain side of themselves. It also puts the person in control of their own image and technology is providing us with better tools to present our self-image. How often is the front-facing camera in a phone used as a compact mirror?

(Well, if I had a front-facing cam I would say, most of the time? I don’t really spend a lot of time in front of a mirror especially when I’m already out and I don’t use a compact mirror, duh! So I guess using your phone or taking a photo of you would be ideal? That is if you’re not like me who gets scared of her own face when she sees looking at herself in the front cam.)

However, why do we like posting our photos so much?

The “looking-glass self” is a psychological concept that suggests we develop our sense of self based on the perceptions of those we interact with thus the opinion of others has been a part of identity development for more than a century. This is probably why the comments on your Facebook profile picture strongly affect your level of perceived physical, social and professional attractiveness.

Selfies represent how we want others to see ourselves. Some are touching while others make me envy the three blind mice for not having to feel the torment of looking at horrible selfies in social networks. Come on, really? Whenever I see pathetic selfies I feel a bunch of emotions stirring inside me – happiness, anger, depression and sooooooo much more.

This is why we must keep in mind that we can never please everyone and that we should not dwell on other’s opinion of us because although Selfies are seen as a way of developing our self-image it could also hurt us especially when we’re not ready to accept the criticisms of the world.



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