The psychology of selfies

Selfiemania has taken over the world and now taking photos of yourself, even thousands of them, is something totally normal to do.

One US survey found more than a million selfies are taken each day across the world - all in pursuit of that perfect shot.

"I'd probably take around 20 selfies to get the right shot!" prolific selfier Katherine Edwards told Newshub.

"That's because I need to look at least half decent before I put my photo onto social media."

  • Check out Huawei's new selficentric superstar, the Nova 3i with four AI cameras.

It turns out the type of selfie you take says a lot about who you are as a person.

Experts reckon that sharing a selfie of you and your partner is a way of showing off a relationship that you think is going to be strong and long term - and potentially a way you can rub it in the face of your ex.

Selfies with your pets are seen to be sentimental and a way to divert attention from being solely a photo of yourself. Instead it can be used to justify posting the photo as showing off the cuddly animal, rather than a "don't I look good today" snap.

"Especially dogs because that's what people care about the most," Ms Edwards said.

"[You're] more popular with dogs!"

Newshub reporter Breanna Barraclough poses for a selfie with her cat, Phno, taken with the Huawei Nova 3i.
Newshub reporter Breanna Barraclough poses for a selfie with her cat, Phno, taken with the Huawei Nova 3i. Photo credit: Newshub.

"People love a good puppy photo or a selfie with your mum," Newshub reporter and selfie connoisseur Kethaki Masilamani said.

"But I think the narcissist in everyone secretly enjoys the solo selfie which yells, 'Hey! Here's an update on what my face looks like today.'"

It used to be that the front-facing camera would be lower quality and lower priority than the main camera on the back of the phone. But things have changed with the growing acceptance and love of the selfie.

Now the selfie camera is just as important. In fact, the new Huawei Nova 3i has two cameras on the front, a 24-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor.

But we need to make sure that the dozens of unseen selfies lurking in our phones aren't hiding a bigger problem.

"In the dark ages you would ask a friendly passer-byer to take a photograph of you - usually posed with someone else, in front of something interesting -like the Taj Mahal," AUT senior psychology lecturer Dr Mark Thorpe told Newshub.

The psychology of selfies
Photo credit: Newshub.

"Now the other person is ignored, the scenery is irrelevant, and you take a selfie of yourself. The process has become an isolated, self-reinforcing, self-admiring loop which excludes the world and other people."

His advice for selfie lovers? Sharing them on social media is actually a good thing.

"I'll see people taking dozens of selfies on a 15-minute bus ride. If you then send it to someone, at least you're interacting with other people, it's better. When it's by yourself, it's very introverted.

"It's better to share because at least then it's going somewhere, you get feedback, there are people commenting. You've got that human interaction."

So if someone ever tries to make fun of you for sharing a selfie, you can tell them that even the experts think it's better than just keeping it in your own phone.

The new Huawei Nova 3i includes dual lenses on both the front and back of the phone, allowing for 'Portrait' mode with depth-of-field and even better selfies.

This article was created for Huawei