Selfies and the people who take them. Sounds like something for daytime TV to sort out on a Jerry Springer episode. Turns out there’s a more sciencey group who looked at the topic. And I guess the pictures too, but only because it was necessary.
What discoveries did they make? New research from Brigham Young University scientists reveals that it’s not just the narcissists over indulging in selfie-ish behavior. In fact, there are three main types, the researchers discovered: Communicators, Autobiographers, and Self-Publicists.
Communicators: “take selfies primarily to engage their friends, family or followers in a conversation,” according to the published study. “They’re all about two-way communication,” explains coauthor and current student Maureen “Mo” Elinzano.
Autobiographers: “use selfies as a tool to record key events in their lives and preserve significant memories.” Such users, “want others to see their photos, they aren’t necessarily seeking the feedback.” One example includes, NASA astronaut Scott Kelley, “who returned to Earth in 2016 after a year in space, chronicled his trip with a number of epic shots, including a full-blown space-suit selfie.”
Self-publicists: They are the ones we usually think about when it comes to selfie snappers, but it’s, “actually the smallest of the three groups,” researchers say. “They are the people who love documenting their entire lives…hoping to present themselves and their stories in a positive light,” said coauthor Harper Anderson. Examples abound — from Kardashians to your standard duck-facing obnoxious party people.