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The 'Selfie' Paradox

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 13th 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Apparently the millions of people who take "selfies" live by a double standard, a new study suggests.

Many people believe their selfies are not narcissistic, but have the opposite view of selfies posted on social media by others, German researchers report.

Selfies are pictures you take of yourself -- or you with friends -- on your cellphone camera. The researchers said Google estimated that about 93 million selfies were taken each day in 2014, and that's only on Android phones.

The fact that many people take selfies but most people don't want to see them is termed the "selfie paradox" by researcher Sarah Diefenbach. She's a professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Diefenbach's study included 238 people in Austria, Germany and Switzerland who completed an online survey. Of the respondents, 77 percent regularly took selfies.

Yet 82 percent of the respondents said they would rather see other types of photos instead of selfies on social media. And 62 to 67 percent said selfies had potential negative consequences, such as an effect on self-esteem.

People feel their own selfies are more genuine than those taken by others, said Diefenbach. Her study appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

"This may explain how everybody can take selfies without feeling narcissistic. If most people think like this, then it is no wonder that the world is full of selfies," Diefenbach said in a journal news release.

More information

The American Psychological Association examines social networking.