[00:00.00]Why do people take “selfies?”
[00:03.37]Researchers at Syracuse University in New York tried to answer that question.
[00:10.84]They came up with some surprising answers.
[00:17.42]People who post selfies and use editing software to make themselves look better show behavior connected to narcissism, the Syracuse researchers said.
[00:31.84]Narcissists are people who think very highly of themselves, especially how they look.
[00:40.69]Ji Won Kim, a doctoral student at the university’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, worked on the study.
[00:53.58]She said because social media can be superficial, it is a good place for people to “work towards satisfying their own vanity.”
[01:06.43]By superficial, she means social media is mostly used by people to share unimportant information about their lives -- not deeply personal issues.
[01:20.76]There are other reasons, besides narcissism, that people post selfies.
[01:27.32]People who post group selfies show a need for popularity and a need to belong to a group, the Syracuse University research found.
[01:40.35]Other findings from the study include:
[01:44.96]There are no major differences on how often men and women post selfies and how often they use editing software.
[01:54.91]But men who post selfies showed more of a need to be seen as popular than women who posted selfies.
[02:05.65]The Newhouse School’s Associate Professor Makana Chock worked on the study.
[02:13.81]She said selfies should not be seen as completely negative.
[02:18.34]She said some people feel “peer pressure” to post selfies.
[02:24.63]And some follow the popular belief that if there is no picture of an event or experience, it did not really happen.
[02:35.32]Chock said posting selfies on social media is not all that different from what people have done for many years.
[02:45.00]On trips and special events, our parents and grandparents used cameras instead of phones to take photos.
[02:54.93]Before social media, people would bring back photos to show friends and family.
[03:02.21]You had no choice but to look at them.
[03:06.11]If you are a nice person, you commented about how nice everyone in the photos looked, especially children and the person showing the photos.
[03:18.91]That was the old way of “clicking” like.
[03:23.05]On social media, it is a different experience.
[03:28.36]People can decide not to look at photos of their friends and family -- even if they click “like” or even “love” under the Facebook selfie.
[03:39.27]Using social media to post photos is pretty new.
[03:45.28]Facebook did not start until 2004.
[03:49.57]Instagram started in 2010.
[03:52.82]It was not until 2013 that the Oxford English language dictionary added the term “selfies.”
[04:01.82]It defined selfie as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself.”
[04:08.87]Here is how the Syracuse researchers did their study.
[04:13.33]They questioned 260 people, aged 18 to 65, and almost evenly divided between men and women.
[04:23.86]To determine narcissism, people were asked if they agreed with personality traits connected to narcissism.
[04:33.05]For example, people were asked if they agreed with statements such as, “I like to be the center of attention” and “I like having authority over people.”
[04:46.98]To determine if those in the study had a need to be seen as popular, people were asked if they agreed with these statements:
[04:57.90]“It’s important that people think I’m popular” and “I often do things just to be popular with people at school.”
[05:07.68]I'm Bruce Alpert.