Selfies and Narcissism: Uncovering a Truth?

The Ty-Lite: An Introduction

"I feel like everyone secretly loves a good selfie," said a participant in a recent video trying out Beyonce's stylist's new LED Selfie phone cases. The woman was one of four who have respect for people who are confident enough to post selfies. "I feel like selfies just get a bad rap," said another woman who went on to say that the world sees anyone taking a selfie as narcissistic.

Per the Ty-Lite Website:
"Created by Ty Hunter, the Ty-Lite provides lighting while using the smartphone's frontal-facing camera, while also acting as a protective case to the phone itself. The Ty-Lite is an LED lighted phone case that offers users three distinct light settings: Cool, Warm, and Brilliant to accommodate any light in any environment. With the Ty-Lite, smartphone users everywhere can capture moments through pictures, selfies, videos and even Facetime without worrying about lighting. Users can also dim the brightness in each light setting to their preferred level of brightness. The Ty-Lite runs on its own battery so it doesn't affect the phone's batter life, and each charge usually lasts between two weeks and one month depending upon consumer usage. The Ty-Lite runs for $79.99."

The Ty-Lite
User Operating Ty-Lite


One of the participants views the Ty-Lite as a tool that is similar to the selfie stick, where people will initially see it as a joke but soon come to realize how useful it is.

Seflie-Posting Frequency

In an article focusing on the association between narcissism, its facets, and selfie posting, it was determined that over half of U.S. internet users post photos online and nearly two-thirds of adults own a smartphone, compared to only %35 in 2011. With our phones and internet use combined, these devices simplify photo sharing through social media by enabling users to take and post digital photographs on social networking sites with little to no effort at all.

According to the article, narcissism has received particular attention in research examining predictors of social networking site use, insinuating that the presumption is social networking site use or SNSs may create or reinforce narcissistic tendencies by serving as channels for self-promotional displays. With an experiment in mind, it was expected that narcissism would be positively related to the frequency of posting selfies on SNSs. When the experiment was all said and done, with the time using SNSs, posting frequency, narcissism, and each of three narcissism subscales involved, all the factors combined resulted in a positive correlation of selfie-posting frequency. Thus, overall, the experiment and study related in accordance with narcissism and its relationship to attention-seeking and self-promoting behaviors in social media environments.


Narcissism, however, isn't all bad. While an excess of the obsession with one's self may be perceived as negative, in moderation, narcissistic behavior may simply aid in increasing one's self-esteem to a healthy level.

In another study, conducted among men and women ages 14-47 years, it was found that narcissism was associated with posting selfies to online social networking sites. It was also found that even though women posted more selfies of all types than men did, there were stronger links between narcissism and selfie-posting among men than women. According to the article, narcissism has been shown to predict online social activity and researchers have found that individuals characterized by relatively elevated narcissism are egocentric, have a sense of grandiosity, dominance, and entitlement, and perceive themselves as more attractive and better than others, but--importantly, are still marked by insecurity.

While researchers studying narcissism have generally suggested a positive association between this characteristic and social media useage and because narcissists tend to be exhibitionistic, attention seeking, and highly concerned with their physical appearance, it seems logical to predict that narcissistic individuals may be more likely to post their pictures on social media than others. It was also found that narcissism has been found to be a significant predictor of the motivation for selecting profile pictures, and narcissistic users are more likely to post their pictures on social media than others. Narcissism has been found to be a significant predictor of the motivation for selecting profile pictures and narcissistic users are more likely to upload their attractive photos on social media than are less narcissistic users. While narcissistic users assessed the attractiveness of their online pictures as unobjectively high, it remained unclear whether narcissists posted more pictures on social media than others did.

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