But First, Let me Take a Selfie! Top-5 Topics for Young Adults’ Selfies
With the growing popularity of image-based social network sites, such as Instagram, “Selfie-ism” has become a global phenomenon. A Computers in Human Behavior study reveals the most popular topics for young adults’ selfies, as well as the most important factors associated with selfie taking.
- Young adults use Instagram approximately 85 minutes per day
- About half of the pictures posted are selfies. The five most popular type of selfies are:
- everyday-life selfies
- travel selfies
- hobby selfies
- food selfies
- social selfies
- The following factors lead to higher intentions to post a selfie:
- having a positive opinion about taking selfies
- have friends who post selfies
- having high technological knowledge
- having friends to share a selfie with
- having a narcissistic personality
What are the topics and predictors of selfie-behavior on SNSs?
85 Instagram users, aged between 20 and 32 years (mean age: 24 years) participated. 76 females and 9 males who had experience of taking selfies and posting them on Instagram
In May 2015, the young adults filled out a questionnaire, answering questions regarding their opinion about taking selfies (attitudes), their friends’ selfie-behavior (subjective norm), their technological knowledge and the amount of friends to share a selfie with (perceived behavioral control), narcissism, engagement in SNS activities and selfie-related behavior. Six weeks later, the researchers counted the number of selfie-postings as well as the number of photo postings on each participant’s Instagram account from the previous six weeks.
Facts and findings
- Participants had been using Instagram for about 17 months with an average of 85 minutes per day.
- 80% of the participants posted a picture at least once a week. About half of these (39%) were selfies.
- Most selfies were taken in everyday life, travel, hobby, food, social, leisure, love, fashion, beauty, pet, fitness contexts, and brand objects (see Figure 1).
- Young adults who liked selfie-posting more, were also more inclined to post selfies themselves.
- Moreover, when young adults had a lot of friends who posted selfies, they were also more likely to post selfies themselves. A possible explanation for this is that young adults see their friends’ behavior as desirable.
- The more participants felt they were in control, for example by having knowledge about how to make a selfie and friends to share a selfie with, the more they were intended to post selfies, leading to more selfies posted.
- Also, narcissistic participants more often intended to post a selfie on Instagram, which led to more selfies posted.
- Critical note: The sample comprised Instagram users only. However, other SNS-sites such as Snapchat, could have different needs and audiences.