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Smile! Not All Selfie Lovers Are Narcissists: Study

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Self-photographs or "selfies" are rampant in an age where smartphones and camera apps are updated almost each year, if not each month. One might see selfies on their favorite social networking sites more often than they would see news and other text-heavy posts.

Selfies are not only a cultural trend; they are also a security risk. Tech Times earlier reported how flashing the "V" sign when taking selfies could actually lead to identity theft. Thieves can extract fingerprints from photos. On the other end of the spectrum, however, recent developments in secure technologies are looking into the feasibility of selfies as a password.

But Is Taking Selfies Becoming An Obsession Or Form Of Narcissism?

When netizens post more than a few selfies on their accounts, others presume these profiles are owned by people who are self-obsessed and have narcissistic tendencies.

One study published in the Visual Communication Quarterly finds selfies to be a means of self-expression rather than an obsession. The study involved a group of 46 "selfie-takers" who were asked to express their opinion on a list of 50 statements that are related to taking selfies. For each statement, the participants were asked to rate them on an 11-point scale, depending on how much they identified with them.

The researchers found that the participants fell into three categories according to their perceptions on why they share and take selfies. None of the findings yielded negative attribution to narcissism or obsession.

The categories were: Communicators, Self-publicists and Autobiographers:

Communicators

Participants that fell into the "communicators" category were found to "primarily take and share selfies to engage in conversation." They were the ones who agreed with statements such as, "I take selfies to show people what I am doing."

Self-Publicists

Self-publicists, although similar to "communicators," distinguished themselves in the study by focusing more on how they were able to "control their personal image."

Unlike the "communicators," they did not agree with the sentiment of being "part of the conversation," but rather, they placed emphasis on how they looked and agreed with such statements as, "I take and share selfies when I think I look nice."

Autobiographers

The category of "autobiographers" included participants who tried to "chronicle themselves" through the use of selfies. Not content with merely showing their peers what they were doing at a given time, this group was more interested in recording their memories for themselves and agreed with statements such as, "I take and share selfies to learn to accept who I am," and "I take and share selfies to document myself for myself."

Which type of selfie-taker are you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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