There is something so addicting about uploading a selfie. You angle your smartphone to the perfect degree, strike your best pose and add lighting via a filter.
In just a few taps, you are able to completely shoot, edit and then share a self-portrait with the world.
There is no denying that social media plays a major role in our selfie-obsessed culture. We love to follow our favorite celebrities, getting an intimate peek into their lives, while sharing our own images with our friends, family and followers.
A handful of "hearts" and comments can instantly lift our moods to super-model status, and we continue to upload and share all day. We are selfie-obsessed.
The idea that we could take a photo of ourselves by ourselves on smartphones then instantly share them on social media has become a defining aspect of the digital age. There is even a social network dedicated to just selfies alone, ON.com.
Popular among 18- to 24-year-olds, the app available for iOS and Android uses geo-location technology to connect users with others through their photos. Although the platform looks similar to Instagram, the photo and messaging app is focused on allowing users to find other selfie lovers by browsing through photos of people near your location or worldwide. Members can also be searched through their age, interests, religion, profession, height, or zodiac sign.
"It's easier than ever to take a photo and share yourself with the world," says ON's CTO Kevin Deegan. "There's so much more to a selfie than just a 'face'. You have selfies at the gym, selfies in the car, selfies at different monuments or traveling, with friends, with pets, making music etc. A selfie isn't just a narcissistic facial profile; it's a way for people to share pages of their everyday stories with others and re-connect our increasingly fragmented communities."
This month, ON announced that it has surpassed 1 million users. With its large user base, the company is able to analyze and report on current selfie trends by reviewing photos tagged by users as well as photo captions.
"Due largely to our users' affection for these types of photos particularly, we have been able to predict and report selfie trends across social media," Deegan says.
Based on the types of selfie posts he sees, Deegan says that people are starting to have more fun with their selfies, adding in "more artistic flavor" by adding text, filters, and other effects.
Selfie trends also coincide with the seasons, with more people uploading photos of outdoor activities associated with spring at this time of the year.
In a recent study based on "likes," ON found that all photos that feature women receive an average of 52 likes. Photos with men featured, however, only receive an average of nine likes.
Interestingly enough, photos with no people (think quotes or memes) receive more likes than photos with just men.
"People are able to get really creative with sharing not only themselves but also what's going on in their daily life, funny or useful quotes, or even memes," Deegan says. "These no-people photos are a great way to get to know someone better than just what they look like, as they give a little more insight into your personality and what you're interested in."
While everyone loves a good meme, in an East Coast vs. West Coast selfie battle, the East Coast out-selfies the West Coast at 2:1.
What's the best time to post a selfie? ON found that images posted on a Wednesday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. get the highest amount of "likes."
Ever wondered what profession uploads selfies the most? According to ON's data it's not reality stars, but rather users in the medical and legal fields who post the most selfies on its platform.
Not only are selfies a popular part of social media culture, but Deegan says they are also almost a necessity if a person wants to create a "unique and personalized online presence."
Those selfie-obsessed users can even capture the perfect photo by using popular products like the selfie stick and even The Belfie Stick, which was created by the team at ON for those rear-view images, both selfie trends of 2014.
Whether you take your selfies using a stick or the old-fashioned way, according to the Shutterstock 2015 Creative Trends report, technology trends like the "selfie" (2,116 percent increase expected) and "emojis" (581 percent increase expected) continue to be on rise.
Photo: Patrik Nygren | Flickr