A social phenomenon, a staple in our digital culture, an experience we've all participated in, the selfie has proven to be more than just a fleeting trend. As more and more people turn cameras inward on themselves, the selfie is criticized as both a desperate form of exhibitionism and reveled as another contribution to our online visual diaries.
Whichever sentiment you side with, the selfie is effective at conveying a sense of personal interaction in an otherwise text-based digital landscape. As we become more and more adept at online conversations, the selfie undeniably provides a feeling of connectedness when you see a familiar face pop up in your news feed.
And – annoying or not – people respond. Selfies shared on social media are 38 percent more likely to be liked and 32 percent more likely to attract comments. It’s not just the younger demographic getting in on the selfie game, either. Although 91% of teens have posted photos of themselves online, people aged 18-34 admit to taking selfies at least once per week.
Whether you think the selfie is a repercussion of online narcissism or a personal way to share an experience, here are seven selfies you have most likely seen and, perhaps, even taken yourself.
- The Healthy Selfie: Designed to show off a healthy lifestyle, this sweaty selfie usually appears right after a gym session along with a caption about heading to the nearest salad bar.
- The Validation Selfie: Got a haircut? Don’t wait for your co-workers to notice Monday morning. Snap a quick selfie in the mirror to show off your new locks.
- The Staged Selfie: It’s no secret that selfies can be largely orchestrated – another way to put on an image of who we are or who we'd like to be. The staged selfie usually includes a few conveniently placed items, the sun shining perfectly on your face, and an easy, breezy polished look to complete the pic.
- The Snap Happy Selfie: A consequence of always being connected to our phones is the ability to get “snap happy.” The technical term for the desire to document everything, including ten different emotional faces to compile into one image and post later.
- The Empathizer Selfie: Whether in a doctor's office, at a funeral, or with your pet at the vet, the empathizer selfie seeks sympathy or support from your followers. It's one thing to commemorate an event, but it's a whole new ballgame when blogs like Selfies at Funerals exist.
- The Victory Selfie: If you just ran a half-marathon, summited Mt. Rainier, or completed any other amazing accomplishment, it’s not complete without the official selfie. As the saying goes, "Pics or it didn’t happen."
- The Duckface Selfie: Originated by tweens and perfected by the Kardashians, the duckface selfie is one that accentuates the cheekbones, while letting you work on that smize. In fact, scroll back up to see one of the Deloitte Digital Audience Team on National Community Manager Day back in January.
What are your favorite kinds of selfies? Are there any you'd add to this list?
Laura Anderson is a Senior Community Manager at the Deloitte Digital Studio, Deloitte Consulting LLP in Pioneer Square, Seattle. She is also currently pursuing a Master of Communication in Digital Media degree at the University of Washington. Follow her on Twitter at @laanderson.