How the Selfie Became an Obsession

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Warning: the person in the selfie may not be as happy as they look. Millennials are known for their obsession with “selfies.” Every day, hours and hours are spent on smartphones, leaving many of us wondering how this narcissistic fad even started. Social media networks are wildly popular. According to a Pew survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans are on social networks, and most users are between 18 and 29. To put that into perspective, Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide, while 330 million are on Twitter. Photo platforms are now on the rise and have the greatest appeal among millennials, with Instagram currently boasting some 1 billion users. Snapchat, a mobile-based app that is particularly popular amongst teens, has nearly 200 million. On these networks, users will often access the front camera on their smartphone to post a “selfie” — or a photo of themselves. Social networks allow for users to be fed a constant stream of information, varying from accomplishments, images from vacations and materialistic lifestyles. This has created a competitive nature, with each user seeking out the best way to depict an ideal self in a virtual world. Thus, some may find their own self-worth deriving from the image they post on social networks. Social media has provided an outlet for people to seek instant gratification, but its overall impact may actually lead to depression. In this video, The New Yorker asks why millennials prefer the convenience of technology over real human connection. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.  Photo Credit: Gutesa / Shutterstock.com

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