It’s become a way to document change, log memories and ensure you have your pick of 50 slight different images to choose from to show your best self online, so is it surprising new research claims ‘millenials’ take over 2,000 selfies a year?
Speaking from a millenial (however far removed from the phrase I may be) perspective those numbers are not exactly shocking. You only have to flick through Instagram to see selfies strewn across your timeline, the real question is to whether this is a good or a bad thing?
Body positivity movements are on the up and communicating to young adults in a way not experienced before. Sole hashtags are created to ‘#effyourbeautystandards’ and celebrate diversity from the media presented norm aesthetic. Whilst some may be dubbing the keen selfie-sharer vain or shallow, others will be praising their confidence to be themselves and unashamedly show their best selves to the world.
The issue this then faces is just how genuine that image is. Whilst sharing your snaps online may seem harmless enough there is no way to tell the impact this has on your audience, no matter how big or small it is. For influencers especially this can be a hot topic of discussion, as over editing and photoshop mask the true image underneath, leading users to question validity.
Any viewers who regularly scroll their social media feeds and are inundated with photoshopped content may reach a point where they can no longer distinguish the reality from the edit, which can lead to more unsettling behaviour whereby users are as a result knocked in confidence as they cannot match the dreamy aesthetics of their favourite Instagrammer’s profiles.
Many avid Twitter users will remember the uproar when a certain popular blogger was called out for having edited her travel shots after suspiciously posting a shot of her enjoying breakfast in bed magic carpet style, floating above the Thames. It’s faux-pas like this that have people wondering how much one person can edit from their life and querying the validity of anything we see on social.
The survey (by Hello Canvas) stated Brits take on average 1,095 photos a year, with 48% of those being selfies. Perhaps a lot of selfies on the outset but only 24% of those will actually make the cut to be posted online for friends to see.
Jennifer Doleac, head of marketing at HelloCanvas.co.uk, said: “It’s fascinating to see just how many photographs we take on a daily and yearly basis. Not that many years ago, photographs were only taken on special occasions, however now we have almost instant access to cameras and smartphones it is a daily occurrence, with seemingly nothing being too trivial to take a picture of. Capturing memories via photography and sharing them via social media and instant message platforms means friends and families can share and enjoy the moment visually within seconds of the event itself”.
The results may not be anything we haven’t heard before, rather reinforcing the culture shift in society we have been witnessing for the past few decades. The throwaway attitudes of millenials based upon this show disregard for savouring memories and treasuring that one slightly blurry pic which captured a moment, instead bringing in the high production shoot where an hour and team of helpers are needed to achieve the picture perfect image.