Do selfies impact the way we see ourselves positively or negatively

Do selfies impact the way we see ourselvespositively or negatively

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Positive impacts of selfies

People often engage in different recreationalactivities such as traveling, sports, and photography. The advent ofsmartphones and easily portable digital cameras has made photographyone of the most practiced recreational activities. In 2002, anAustralian man officially coined the term “selfie” to refer to aself-portrait taken by a digital camera or smartphone (Pearlman,2013). In the contemporary world, the majority of the Millennial arerenowned for their tendency to take self-portraits (selfies). Theseselfies are then posted on social media platforms, where people view,like, or even comment. While this is a common practice, there areconcerns among scholars and psychologists that selfies may havepsychological impacts on the way people see themselves. Selfies arebeneficial in social networking because they provide people with anopportunity to post and share pictures, bolstering self-confidenceand increasing sociability.


Selfies have provided a means for validatingourselves. Humans are social creatures who need validation fromothers to gain confidence. Many people are often concerned abouttheir self-image because it provides a means to define their identity(Rich, 2003). Technological advancement has provided a platform thatpeople use to express themselves through photography. As a result,the practice of taking selfies in conjunction with the use of thesocial media has enabled people to put forward their image and allowothers to provide judgment and appraisal. Good feedback on aself-portrait often affects an individual positively and allows themto build their self-esteem.

Selfies have enhanced the capacity of people toidentify with specific niches, which provide a sense of comfort. Notonly have selfies encouraged the level of people virtual interaction,but they have also provided an excellent platform for individuals tocreate mutually beneficial social groups. According to Rich (2003),people tend to develop their sense of belonging through interactionwith others. Selfies have made this possible by allowing people tocontrol their images and present themselves in the possible ways.Proper control of one’s image in the social media allows people toget into certain groups such as social influencers, and socialites.Therefore, individuals can use selfies to choose their specificniches in the online society. Usually, persons will choose the nichethey feel comfortable in and are happy to be associated with, thusimpacting positively on many lives.

The use of selfies has also improved thepsychological stamina of many individuals. The display pictures andavatars, which are filled with self-portraits, can be found in manysocial media platforms today. From these pictures, people are judgedeither positively or negatively. As a result, they tend to developthe mental capacity to accept both criticism and praise. According tothe psychological concept of looking glass self, a person’sself-image grows from interpersonal interaction and the perception ofother people (Ferrante, 2008). The interpersonal interactions thatpeople experience by posting their selfies on the social media oftenallow them to gain a balanced view of his or her image. An individualusually gains mental and psychological stamina from the experiencesthey gain after posting selfies and exposing themselves to criticismor praise.


Since the incursion of the portable digitalcameras and smartphone, people have been known to engage inrecreational activities such as photography. In the past decade, anew form of photography where people take their portraits, known asselfies, has gained prominence. The selfies have impacted positivelyon many lives by assisting people to identify their niches in thesociety. Apart from assisting in niche identification, selfies havealso allowed people to validate their image through appraisal fromfriends. Lastly, selfies have improved the mental and psychologicalcapacities of individuals to deal with different self-image issues byensuring people take both criticism and praise.


Ferrante, J. (2008). Sociology: A Global Perspective. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Pearlman, J. (2013, November 19). Australian man `invented the selfie after a drunken night out`. The Telegraph. Retrieved from

Rich, S. K. (2003). Through the Looking Glass: Women and Self-representation in Contemporary Art. University Park, Pa: Palmer Museum of Art.