The selfie paradox
February 10, 2017 – Daily News Briefing
The Christian Science Monitor
Grinning in front of the Eiffel Tower, hamming it up at a ballgame, making a duck face, showing off a hairdo — the selfie is everywhere. While it didn’t begin with the cellphone camera (amateur photographer Robert Cornelius’s 1839 self-portrait is generally considered the first), the selfie was supercharged by digital technology. Google estimates that 93 million selfies a day are taken on Android devices alone. As routine as the selfie has become, however, selfies in general aren’t beloved.
Selfie culture is, well, a little selfish. Who knows? Taking less thought for ourselves — and turning the camera around — might boost appreciation of the incredible people, places, and things we share the world with.
Response to John Yemma at The Christian Science Monitor
Don’t be so quick to judge the selfie
8:29 AM – September 22, 2016
Selfies have been under fire for years. Critics call selfie-takers narcissistic and accuse them of seeking incessant validation.
But Warner argues that selfies might be a useful tool for building confidence—especially in marginalized groups more at risk for self-consciousness (Warner, Bustle, 9/15).
UCI study links selfies, happiness
Taking and sharing smartphone photos boosts positive feelings
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 13, 2016 – Regularly snapping selfies with your smartphone and sharing photos with your friends can help make you a happier person, according to computer scientists at the University of California, Irvine. In a first-of-its-kind study published just before back-to-school season, the authors found that students can combat the blues with some simple, deliberate actions on their mobile devices.
“Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it,” said lead author Yu Chen, a postdoctoral scholar in UCI’s Department of Informatics. “This is particularly useful information for returning college students to be aware of, since they face many sources of pressure.”
These stressors – financial difficulties, being away from home for the first time, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the rigors of coursework – can negatively impact students’ academic performance and lead to depression.
“The good news is that despite their susceptibility to strain, most college students constantly carry around a mobile device, which can be used for stress relief,” Chen said. “Added to that are many applications and social media tools that make it easy to produce and send images.”