Self-affirmation or narcissism? is a frequently asked question about the selfie, both among his detractors and among his defenders.
I could also see a video of Dr. in Psychology Todd Grande, very interesting and direct.
If you're one of those people who've ever shared a selfie on your social networks, I already tell you that there is nothing pathological about that.
Do you have little time? I'll explain it here in a minute.
The word "self-portrait" will have little glamour, but that's exactly a selfie
The R.A.E.. introduced the English word "selfie" by Spanishizing it, and they called it a "selfie.", defined as "selfie". I prefer to keep the English word, or already put, call it the old-fashioned way, self-portrait.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to see the best selfie exhibition on the planet, in the Saatchi Gallery of London. There I saw that the first photographic self-portrait dates from nothing less than 1920. Photographer Joseph Byron and his colleague Ben Falk held the camera that triggered the first documented selfie on New York's 5th Avenue.
But self-portraits exist since the fifteenth century. They came with the improvement and cheapening of the mirrors. Then, many painters, sculptors and engravers tried some form of self-portraiture.
It is believed that the "Portrait of a Man in a Turban", by Jan van Eyck, of the 1433, it could be the first self-portrait.
What does the study tell us about the selfie?
The use of social media by active young people and visual content creators provides an easy means to achieve narcissistic goals of self-promotion, attention search and to socialize with experiences of self-objectification (when it is the users themselves who intervene in the network and leave traces of themselves.)
In addition, the findings confirm the involvement of the Women in the concerns about appearance and practices related to the body image, and in men with the body objectification.
The selfie as self-promotion and attention search
Psychologists conclude that the greatest engagement of the selfies compared to other publications creates a satisfaction in individuals that makes them repeat the frequency of these publications to improve their self-esteem.
Take the test. Look at the Timeline from a young person's Instagram or Facebook, and you will see how the portrait and the selfie abound and hoard most of "likes" and comments. And it's not much different in not-so-young people.
Can selfies predict narcissism?
According to Dr. Todd Grande, beyond narcissism encompassing clinical pathology, there is another subclinical variant that we see every day in many people.
A distinction is made between grandiose narcissism and its opposite, the vulnerable. Vulnerable narcissists are often introverted and reserved. The grandiose are usually extroverts.
And Dr.. distinguishes three phases of narcissism:
- Leadership and authority, related to the desire to gain power. It is not usually pathological.
- Grandiosity and exhibitionism, where vanity intervenes, the sense of superiority and self-esteem.
- Right to exploitation, which includes manipulation of other people. Here it is already considered a pathology.
In general, narcissism is more common in men than in women, and decreases with age.
As for the selfie, motivations are rarely due to narcissistic behaviors. Most of the time they are done to inform other people, by pure evasion, or to enhance the sense of belonging, compliance, or as part of a job.
Putting the focus on the most common facet, The 2 of exhibitionism, women use the group selfie more than men. Narcissism only refers to solo selfies.
Why we take selfies
30% for reasons that experts qualify as narcissistic, but the 70% remaining is done by sharing connections, boosting self-esteem, to document memories.
Other studies also include attention-gathering, communication and entertainment. Only the need to capture attention could have narcissistic motivations.
A curious feature is that narcissistic behaviors in selfies do not always correspond to individuals with narcissistic personality. The danger is that the repetition of such behaviors can lead to a personality change. And that's what makes it possible to predict possible narcissistic personality from selfies.
In vulnerable narcissism we can find pathology in people who take lots of selfies and do not share them. They are often connected to embarrassing and insecure people.
Typical personality traits in selfie creators
Based on the above, Dr. Large stable relationship of five personality traits with the creation and subsequent editing of selfies:
- opening : no association
- extroversion: there is a positive relationship with the idea of capturing attention
- consciousness: no relationship
- Likability: there is a positive relationship with the idea of communicating and creating "archive"
- Neurotic behavior: there is a negative relationship, make many, do not publish them
As for our personal brand, should we be concerned?
As we have seen, we shouldn't worry if we use selfies as fun, photo archive, self-affirmation or even attention capture.
Yes, we should do it when we get approval from our community in the form of likes or comments become a necessity. In this case, it is advisable to look for alternative sources to promote self-esteem and self-confidence.
Our identity is not defined by likes, neither comments nor followers: that's a key aspect.
One possibility that some social networks offer us today is to eliminate the visualization of the likes, an interesting option in the above case. Our identity is not defined by the likes, neither comments nor followers: that's a key aspect.
The attempt to project an idealized digital image, which does not correspond to the real one, can bring problems of coherence of personal brand. That would mean that when someone "devirtualizes" us they take a disappointment. And in that sense, excessive processing on the selfie image (change of proportions, Slimming, colors, teeth...) it would not be advisable.
Personally, I take few selfies, perhaps because I am already bored to always see the same perspective of myself and prefer the camera of others. Now I use more the "selfie-testimony", the one who attests that I have been with a specific person or persons or in a certain place. Here's a good, controversial example of "selfie-testimony" during Hillary Clinton's campaign against Donald Trump.
In conclusion, the idea is that taking selfies doesn't have to be a symptom of narcissism, but part of something natural in a society where technologies allow us to share moments instantly. So answering the title question: Selfie: self-affirmation or narcissism? I bet by self-affirmation.
Stock Photos from Master1305 / Shutterstock
Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (programs of branded internal ambassadors).
Socio of Soymimarca's Integra Personal Branding, Brand Directory of Omnia Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting and Quifer Consultores.
I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.
My advertising DNA comes from 20 years in agencies: Time/BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.