Science Confirms That Selfies Are the Worst

Science & Tech / Web Culture

Science Confirms That Selfies Are the Worst

By: Chris O'Shea

The selfie. Is there anything more annoying in the social media world? You could say pictures of ultrasounds and babies, and yes, many people despise those. You could even argue people hate political rants more than selfies, but we don't agree. The selfie — when someone takes a picture of themselves and posts it on a social media platform — is the most annoying habit by users. Now a new study reveals that not only is this behavior horrible, it might be alienating your friends. Way to go, idiots.

The selfie is reprehensible because it's two levels of narcissism. First of all, you're on a social media site. This, by itself, is a narcissistic thing to do. But for the selfie sender, this isn't enough. No, they have to take their egos and lack of self esteem to another level and post pictures of themselves on these sites. The worst selfie site is definitely Instagram. Take a look at the Most Popular pics sometime. Count how many are selfies. Then go ahead and worry about our society.

The study from three business schools in Europe confirms that selfies are the worst. In a paper hilariously titled "Tagger's Delight? Disclosure and liking behaviour in Facebook: the effects of sharing photographs amongst multiple known social circles" four professors claim that people who post more selfies have shallow relationships with people. You know, real, live people. With heartbeats! Increased frequency of sharing photographs of the self, regardless of the type of target sharing the photographs, is related to a decrease in intimacy," explains the report. 

To come to this conclusion, the professors asked 508 Facebook users with an average age of 24 to rank how close they feel to their friends, coworkers and relatives who also use Facebook. They then compared those answers to how many selfies those people posted. Overwhelmingly, the more someone posted selfies, the lower they ranked on the intimacy scales of the participants. But of course, given that these selfie morons are clearly self-centered, they don't even realize what they're doing.

"People, other than very close friends and relatives, don't seem to relate well to those who constantly share photos of themselves," said Dr. David Houghton, a professor at Birmingham Business School and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. "It’s worth remembering that the information we post to our ‘friends’ on Facebook, actually gets viewed by lots of different categories of people: partners; friends; family; colleagues and acquaintances; and each group seems to take a different view of the information shared."

Yes, we agree: It is worth remembering that. It's also worth remembering that selfies are the worst, so just stop it already. Please plug the hole in your self esteem with something else, and leave our social network feeds alone. Oh, and thanks for liking that pic of the new hair cut.

[Pic via Flickr - Shawn Ahmed]

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  • Picture of Molly

    You sound like a grumpy old man who’s pist he has no selfie game lmao shut up

    Molly --- Feb 27, 2014 - 1:08 PMReply

    • Picture of cosmic girl

      Selfies are sad fuckers with no self esteem and zero social life

      cosmic girl --- Mar 08, 2014 - 6:47 PMReply

      • Picture of pat

        Lol… it’s sad that the proponents of selfie taking are being represented by the likes of Molly… Oh well… On to constructive conversation, How exactly are selfies “Sad Fuckers”? Seems more to me like they are individuals who are currently partaking in the Fads of the generation. Kind of like how disco was to the 70s and spandex was to the 80s. These actions don’t exact detract from their personalities by virtue of occurring any more than a teenager from the 90’s wearing jnco jeans to fit in. Please elaborate on your comment as it seems contrived and purely based in personal bias then actual logic.

        pat --- Mar 18, 2014 - 8:21 PMReply

        • Picture of Jay

          I think your getting confused with fashion and self obsession !

          Jay --- Mar 22, 2014 - 8:58 AMReply

        • Picture of leanne

          i think selfies are pretty awesome!!! dont judge me I can have an opinion

          leanne --- May 20, 2014 - 6:58 PMReply

          • Picture of mike

            selfie is for morons. losers without friends. or have some but fake friends. molly is a retard.

            mike --- Jul 16, 2014 - 7:07 AMReply

            • Picture of garebear

              who are you to judge the quality of friends among people you don’t know? what, did you get your statistical data and ph. d in selfies from watching #selfie? of course, it’s silly that these people are presented in this sort of way. but it does not mean the whole are like this. this being superficial. like the comments below me, selfies are just a fad of a generation, just like disco was to the 1970’s. are you going to say that discoers, just because we think they loved to party, would do nothing else BUT party? and if you would think that, go ask your parens how you were born, because they probably grew up in the 70’s.

              garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 3:15 PMReply

              • Picture of dylpikle

                SOMEONE IS INSECURE HAHAAHAHA

                dylpikle --- Nov 13, 2014 - 5:54 PMReply

          • Picture of CHLOE

            HE is so gay

            CHLOE --- Nov 11, 2014 - 6:04 PMReply

          • Picture of James

            No I think selfies are a waste of time. People will judge you you idiot.

            James --- Nov 18, 2014 - 6:01 PMReply

        • Picture of nicholas

          Pat, the response is an easy one. YOUR FUTURE image to employers, few companies on this planet will associate themselves to self important people unless employed in social media space. not that i would call social media an actual business, it does not take a degree to know how to sell yourself let alone use social media sites.

          nicholas --- Sep 06, 2014 - 5:16 AMReply

    • Picture of Bob

      Molly,

      You sound like another dumb cunt who is brainwashed by anything popularized in the media. For fuck sakes, go read a book and grow some new brain cells before you start infecting us with your nonsense.

      Bob --- Mar 19, 2014 - 3:31 PMReply

      • Picture of not a dumb cunt

        Agreed.  The internet has made it clear just how many dumb cunts there are.

        not a dumb cunt --- Mar 27, 2014 - 9:17 PMReply

      • Picture of justine.ink

        POINT WELL MADE . Can’t find like button tho wink

        justine.ink --- Jun 11, 2014 - 7:25 AMReply

    • Picture of skata

      Hey molly , let me tell you something, first look at the way you speak, ‘‘who’s pist has no selfie game lmao shut up’’ , first, you call it a game, for gods sake, what do u mean game? whoever gets more likes gets what? WHAT?friends? love? respect? confidence?
      Now i don’t know you, but i suppose you will do anything for popularity on social network sites, probably pose a very sexy ‘‘selfie’‘? and by sexy i mean an edited photo(lot of work there) of you with less than 10% clothes.
      now now the likes you get is for two reasons
      1. someone got a boner ( he might probably jerk off on your photo)
      2. some people have the idea that liking someones photo will be exchanged by another like.
      now now delete your profiles and go outside, i promise it will do you good. oh and i don’t have something against social media, but sometimes it absorbs every bit of life from you.

      skata --- Mar 31, 2014 - 11:10 PMReply

      • Picture of garebear

        this is old, but i’m bringing up the dead. selfie game doesn’t mean a game to play. like a game of chess. do you not know? it’s common lingo for just. being good at something. oh my tennis game is good. means i’m good at tennis. my driving game is good. means i’m good at driving.

        okay and you’re very skewed. less than 10% of clothes. REALLY? did anyone measure 10% and wear that? Or better yet…. how do you know she’s the sorta gal who dresses scantily whiles selfie-ing? that’s just so…. skewed. And mind you, you just literally chastised and accused this anon for something like this. Given only about 2 lines of information. Do you not realize how wrong that is?

        My good sir or mam, selfies aren’t things just to be taken in the bathroom with a white tank top and a lot of makeup. You must understand that going out to Disneyland in front of the castle, holding out your phone, and pressing the capture button suffices for a selfie. Or when you’re at a friend’s house, and you want to take a picture of you and the girls to send to your other friends to let them know you’re having a good time. Let me ask you, what is universally wrong about that?

        garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 3:49 PMReply

    • Picture of Nick

      I don’t like grumpy old men either, but you have to uunderstand, it fyou’re someone always takes pictures of him/herself while doing stupid things like “duck face”, then you need to look at yourself, because that’s not a healthy mindset. Of course, we have all taken pictures of ourselves, but the younger generation take it too far. “Selfie games”... ugh that made me cringe.

      Nick --- Apr 06, 2014 - 12:35 PMReply

      • Picture of garebear

        okay, what isn’t healthy about it? first of all, i believe everyone here has an extreme bias. first, the article writer has a biased against selfies. he begins calling selfie takers idiots, which is to quick to conclude. his evidence? his personal opinion and this so-called study. so… we basically are trying to rank intimacy…. BY word of the subjects…. about those who take selfies. okay, who is to say that selfies are the causation more than correlation? selfies =\= loss of intimacy. that has yet to be proven. and this was taken from the subjects. you think they care that they have less intimate friendships? if they admitted it in such overwhelming numbers, they clearly don’t. and that’s what people need to understand is that we don’t all need to have this one bestest spill-my-heart-out-to know-me-for-the-goodness-of-my-soul best friend. a lot of us aren’t that lucky, and a lot of us are not wired that way. Wholesome upbringing makes that sound ideal, but that simply cannot be the case in everyone. some people are just looking for fun and a little companionship while they’re at it. So now, let me ask you…. where was the part that was unhealthy?

        garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 3:27 PMReply

        • Picture of sd

          what is wrong is that you are a narcissist if you take pictures of yourself. maybe show something else instead of yourself?

          sd --- Nov 13, 2014 - 5:58 PMReply

    • Picture of Velouria

      What? “Pist” about no “selfie game”? You sound like an idiot.

      Velouria --- Jun 03, 2014 - 1:19 PMReply

    • Picture of David

      It’s pissed, not pist.  Keep up with the selfies.  Dumb ass.

      David --- Jun 29, 2014 - 3:08 PMReply

    • Picture of mike

      you shut up. loser. can’t accept the fucking fact that selfie is for people who have very low IQ? hahaha… even your dead mother hates you for your pathetic loser looking selfies

      mike --- Jul 16, 2014 - 7:09 AMReply

    • Picture of kd3569

      He didn’t write the study, he’s only commenting on it, just like you’re commenting on his article. Does that make you a grump for taking his lighthearted take so negatively? hmmm

      kd3569 --- Jul 21, 2014 - 11:49 AMReply

    • Picture of I See You Cunts

      Molly’s first response to attempt to shame and humiliate on the basis that someone who hates selfies is simply bitter & jealous shows how narcissistic selfie takers are. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a recognised psychological disorder which is typified by that kind of action; attack all who don’t support their massively delusional ego which needs feeding by any means necessary. Molly & her minions behaviour only confirm the existence of this phenomenon and also is testament to their self-obsession and absence of compassion toward fellow humans. Familiarise yourselves with NPD and then compare the symptom checklist against the actions of selfie obsessives and you will find that it is consistent. I would rather call them cunites

      I See You Cunts --- Jul 25, 2014 - 9:00 AMReply

      • Picture of garebear

        finally! I meet someone on the internet who has the facts! And thinks he’s intelligent! Because nobody on the internet thinks they’re intelligent!

        Hahah, do you get my sarcasm? My good sir, you are defeating your own argument. narcisisstic personality disorder is just that…. A DISORDER. these things arise from things genetics and triggers. like schizophrenia, except that’s more extreme. you see, let’s say a schizo’s on the street, banging his head on a pole and saying the world’s gonna end in three days, and insults anyone who doesn’t give him a dollar so he can build a time machine. now, it is unpleasant to be near that man. you may even want to punch him, but that is very rude. but would you yell at him, screaming at him “YOU’RE INSANE! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE YOU’RE SCHIZOPHRENIC!” especially because we know he’s insane too. letting him know that he is schizophrenic doesn’t help the insane man get any better. nor does he feel a sense of rift in himself, because he IS schizophrenic. no logical side of him should take over and say “hey wow, i really am schizophrenic.” they just don’t realize it. in the same way, why would you tell someone she’s narcissistic? does a voice in her head say “wake up, you’re narcissistic, and that’s a bad thing.” No, because that’s the NPD. Or at least, you are accusing her of having the disorder. she can be narcissistic, but to tell her she has the disorder? that’s self defeating.

        garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 3:38 PMReply

    • Picture of Dano

      People who repeatedly post selfies have no, “game” and if they had any game, they would still be lame.

      Taking a self portrait was never even popular when photography was expensive and had a high difficulty level.

      Selfie lovers are SELF ABSORBED SIMPLETONS.

      Dano --- Aug 16, 2014 - 3:19 AMReply

      • Picture of When your saying something would you call your gra

        Not everybody that take selfies are “egocenric” and “self absorbed simpletons “. Most of thew people I know are surly not that. They are the most kindest people I know. And they put anybody and everybody before their selves.

        When your saying something would you call your gra --- Sep 08, 2014 - 3:21 PMReply

    • Picture of Jon

      Um, and you sound like you’re exactly who he’s ranting about. More scenic pics please and thanks!

      Jon --- Sep 03, 2014 - 4:23 PMReply

    • Picture of rooster cogburn

      selfie game?  Even for a girl you sound like a complete tool.

      rooster cogburn --- Oct 14, 2014 - 8:35 PMReply

    • Picture of garebear

      Molly, i know this is late comment but don’t listen to the rest xD. these are the only self absorbed people. everyone can agree that wrongs don’t make a right. and nobody realizes they are at fault for his or her own mistake. Everyone reading this should realize that nobody’s perfect. selfie takers have some problems. But those who lurk on comments just to make others feel bad about themselves is bad too. It is the self absorbed action that nobody realizes. There are more problems with this generation than selfie takers, a major part being the internet, cyber-bullying, and trolling, most of which many of you committed by now.

      garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 3:42 PMReply

    • Picture of Bert

      You sound like a stuck up slut.

      Bert --- Nov 09, 2014 - 1:41 PMReply

    • maybe he doesn’t play “selfie” i have never heard of the game and it sounds crap in my opinion

      Timothy Chapman --- Dec 19, 2014 - 3:04 AMReply

  • Picture of Rob

    Finally someone say the truth—> selfies are for egocenric assholes eg 95% of human population. Humans are really inferiors to animals

    Rob --- Mar 07, 2014 - 10:08 AMReply

    • Picture of pat

      Humans are animals… how can one be inferior to the state they are currently?

      pat --- Mar 18, 2014 - 8:14 PMReply

    • Picture of Thomas Hansen

      Ha ha, funny. I will agree that selfies are for dumbasses (which I am not part of that crowd), I would not agree that humans are inferior. Animals are stupider than you think, maybe not the octopus or other mysteriously intelligent animal. There’s a reason why we rule the Earth: we’re smarter than animals.

      Thomas Hansen --- May 16, 2014 - 9:01 PMReply

      • Picture of violet

        “animals are stupider than you think” - so are humans. especially ones that think their dumb species rules the planet.

        violet --- Jun 16, 2014 - 3:08 PMReply

    • Picture of garebear

      what are you then? a human? an animal? or a hypocritical cynic?

      garebear --- Nov 07, 2014 - 6:48 PMReply

  • Picture of pat

    Sounds more like biased diatribe than an actual solid piece of reporting… While I’m not personally the kind of person that enjoys taking selfies, you seem to contort the percentages in studies that you found to bend to your point instead of letting any actual data speak for itself.

    pat --- Mar 18, 2014 - 8:12 PMReply

    • Picture of Bob

      You’re taking the article too seriously. Selfies are annoying. End of story. Stop getting all political and scientific about it and just accept the damn fact.

      Bob --- Mar 19, 2014 - 3:32 PMReply

      • Picture of Jay

        Bob for president !!!

        Jay --- Mar 22, 2014 - 9:02 AMReply

      • Picture of idk

        yassssss thank you!

        idk --- Sep 25, 2014 - 11:44 PMReply

  • Picture of Kel

    The word “selfie” is already annoying by itself.

    Kel --- Mar 24, 2014 - 12:45 AMReply

  • Where is the best place for our selfies?

    MySelfies Page --- Mar 26, 2014 - 4:22 PMReply

  • Picture of Jrou

    Honestly, selfies aren’t that big of a deal.  If it’s your profile then why would you want to show other people in every single picture?  You need some pictures of just you, and regardless if you take the picture yourself or have someone else take a photo of just you is meaningless.  Anyone who gets seriously upset about someone using selfies has more psychological issues then the person using a selfie.  If you judge a person based upon something as stupid as a selfie, well then you may want to take a step back and assess your own mental state. Bottom line, selfies are not narcissistic l, nor do they have a god complex, it’s a picture on a worthless social media website…

    Jrou --- Mar 28, 2014 - 6:26 AMReply

    • Picture of Kel

      I think the author is purposely making use of hyperbole and sarcasm to get the point across. While I believe it is over the top, the author does make some valid points. It depends on the context. Sometimes, self-taken pictures are acceptable. Other times, they can be quite pointless and leave me wondering what exactly they are trying to accomplish. For me, the word “selfie” is just ridiculous. It’s sounds like a little kid learning to speak. I guess, ‘self-taken photo’ is just too taxing to say. I don’t say the word ‘selfie’ because it makes me feel like those stereotypical teenage girls prone to shortening words like cra’ and whatever else they are saying today.

      Kel --- Mar 28, 2014 - 7:05 PMReply

    • Picture of Mary

      Actually, selfies are not just a picture on a website.. I have seen creepy perverts make lewd comments on young girls selfies.  Where are these childrens parents?  Do they know that their daughters are earning a reputation of “sluts” because of the provocative clothes and posing?.  Married men and men in relationships are commenting and possibly even direct messaging these girls.  Where are the parents.

      Mary --- Jul 04, 2014 - 5:32 PMReply

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