Are you self(ie) obsessed?

NB Team

Share now

Today we have a guest post from Rachael, part of our incredible Design team. She’s taken some time out to look at pictures of herself…


Everyone loves an occasional selfie (admit it, you have at least one on your phone). Research has been carried out to suggest we enjoy the control we have over the 21st century self-portrait, which probably isn’t a surprise.

In case you’re unsure how big pictures are these days – both Instagram and Snapchat are in the top ten most used apps inthe world. Instagram has 400 million users and Snapchat has 100 million users (and both still counting).

These picture-based social media platforms are living proof that we have evolved from the days of a paintbrush and canvas. Our smartphones offer an easily accessible form of self portrayal…

“The more pictures you post of yourself promoting a certain identity – adventurous, studious, funny, daring, etc.—the more likely it is that others will endorse this identity of you.”- Everyday Sociology Blog

We want people to believe, or know, that we lead fantastic, interesting and vibrant lives. Artist Chompoo Baritone puts an interesting case forward, showing us how Instagram can mask reality – deMilked described it saying, “She posted some dreamy Instagram pictures, then posted the images incorporated into their uncropped originals.”

However, does Instagram mask reality, do those filters drain out the real world? Or maybe it’s like any other photography – a form of self-expression, a creative portrayal of the little things that stand out to you, and showing things from your perspective.


Subconsciously we pay more attention to the face than anything else. We look to the face a form of non-verbal communication. Saeideh Bakhshi, a Ph.D student at Georgia Tech College of computing, led a social media study looking at 1.1 million photos on Instagram, trying to establish which photo variation acquired the most online activity. Photos with faces were 38% more likely to be ‘liked’ and Bakhshi said, “We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions and identity.”

With the evolution of the selfie, we have seen the development of tech accommodating to this movement. Every smartphone has an enhanced front facing camera now, and a variety of selfie modes, even including “auto selfie” and “beautification”!Take a look at your photo gallery across Android and iOS, and you’ll likely see a vainglorious collection of pictures, under the Selfie category.

Within the design team, we have an overall selfie rate of: 1216. That’s 15% of 8028 photos which are selfies. Not a bad score really (although I must admit, with shame, that mine were a large percentage of this!)

So, the question is, how vain are you? What is your selfie number?