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Busting the myth of the narcissism of selfies

(OPINION EDITORIAL) Selfies are often associated with narcissism, but a new study on selfies should alleviate your fears of being thought of as an ego-maniac.


Nanna’s been taking selfies since before you were born

Selfies might be a newer trend, but look back in your family photo albums and see how many pictures were taken of your mom, dad, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Our ancestors memorialized themselves in photos, as a way of remembering moments of their life.

Most of us wouldn’t consider those pictures being indicative of narcissism, but many people today feel like selfies are just taken out of vanity. Brigham Young University just published a study in which the researchers found that taking selfies is not always due to self-obsession and showing off.

It’s not just about likes and upvotes

The study revealed three different categories of selfie-takers:

1. Communicators are people who take pictures to engage others in conversation. The American Genius team took selfies in November to encourage others to get to the polls.

2. Autobiographers want to remember key events or preserve memories.

Selfies might be posted to social media so others can see them, but feedback isn’t driving these people.

If you’ve ever seen someone chronicle a trip in pictures on Facebook, you’ve probably met an autobiographer.

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3. Self-publicists might be the only group that wants to present their life and story to others for adulation. They want to be noticed. Researchers, however, also found that this was the smallest group. Narcissism might be a motivation, but then again, it might not.

Haters gonna hate

Narcissism is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but its meaning really depends on who is saying it. Most people associate narcissism with vanity or egoism, but in some psychiatric circles, it can mean a person without empathy. Not all narcissists post selfies, and not all selfie posters are narcissists.

What does all this mean?

Take those selfies and post them on social media. Stop worrying about the haters.

The reality is that selfies have given people a way to be proud of how they look.

Men, women and children have the opportunity to have a healthy self-image. It feels good to see our friends happy.

Let your loved ones see your beautiful face in a selfie.

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Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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