The Selfie-Paradox: People hate looking at other people’s selfies but like posting their own

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Taking selfies – an act I hate doing. Yet, if you take a look at my gallery, you’ll probably find a few selfies I have taken.

Incidentally, a researcher has found out something similar. Sarah Diefenbach, a professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany, recently conducted a research to assess and know about people’s intentions and judgments while taking their selfies and also while viewing selfies of others.

What she found out was astonishing. Among the 238 people who participated in the survey, around 82 percent of people said that they would rather like to see ‘normal pictures’ on their social media feeds rather than selfies. But here’s the paradox – 77 percent of the study population said that they take selfies, and regularly.

In her interview with the Daily Mail, Diefenbach said, “One reason for this might be their fit with widespread self-presentation strategies such as self-promotion and self-disclosure.”

But why do people take selfies? What are their motives? “The selfie as a self-advertisement, plying the audience with one’s positive characteristics or the selfie as an act of self-disclosure, sharing a private moment with the rest of the world and hopefully earning sympathy, appear to be key motivators”, explains Sarah.

Writing this reminded me of an earlier article I had written on selfies. When I wrote that article, I found out many researches which concluded that people who take selfies are narcissists and psychopaths. I (partially) agree with these studies. I think that people who post selfies on social medias are partly into self-promotion.

Sarah Diefenbach also mentions that selfies are categorized into three types: self-promotion, self-disclosure, and understatement. Self-promotion probably is self-explanatory and you might have seen a lot of pictures in that category. Simply, self-promotion is an advertisement done by the ‘selfie taker’ to show the viewers their positive features.

Self-disclosure comes second. Think of a person who has posted a private picture showing their messed up room or dishes left to wash. They are trying to gain some sympathy, aren’t they? This is an example of self-disclosure.

The third type of selfie is understatement. This is simply a selfie where people don’t show off anything but just portray themselves.

The study shows that people who fell under self-promotion and self-disclosure were more likely to take selfies than people who fell under the understatement category.

What do you think of the research’s findings? Let us know by commenting below. Meanwhile, I am off to pour my wrath on people who have posted their selfies. But first, let me take a selfie.