The Psychology of Selfies: Why We Can’t Stop Taking Them with Our iPhones


Selfies have become a significant trend in contemporary society. As the quality of smartphones continues to improve, the number of people taking and sharing selfies has increased tremendously. It is estimated that over one million selfies are taken each day across the globe. Selfies have become a way for individuals to express themselves, their lifestyles, and relationships with others. However, have you ever wondered why we can’t stop taking selfies with our iPhones? The answer lies in the psychology of selfies.

The term “selfie” was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, defining it as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.” From that point on, taking selfies has become increasingly popular among individuals of all ages, with social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat being major drivers of this phenomenon.

The reason why we are fascinated with taking selfies lies in the fundamental human need for self-presentation and self-expression. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-esteem is an essential psychological need. Selfies feed this need by allowing us to present ourselves in a positive and flattering way. With the power to take multiple shots and choose the perfect angle and filter, we can create our desired image to share with the world.

Selfies also play a crucial role in self-expression. With the rise of social media, we are bombarded with endless amounts of information and images every day. Selfies provide a medium for individuals to stand out and express their individuality. By taking and sharing selfies, we can tell our own unique stories and showcase our interests, hobbies, and personalities.

Furthermore, selfies have been found to have a psychological association with self-perception and self-confidence. In a study conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Irvine, participants who took and shared selfies reported feeling more confident and comfortable in their own skin. The process of taking a selfie, choosing the right pose and expression, and receiving positive feedback can boost self-esteem and promote a positive self-image.

The advancement of technology has also made taking selfies more accessible and convenient. With the development of front-facing cameras on smartphones, taking a selfie now only requires a quick flip and snap. The high-resolution cameras on iPhones also allow for better image quality, making the final result more appealing and share-worthy.

In addition to self-esteem and self-expression, selfies have also been associated with social needs. It is common practice for individuals to include friends, family, and partners in their selfies. By doing so, the individual creates a sense of being a part of a social circle, leading to feelings of belongingness and connectedness. Furthermore, selfies provide a way for individuals to maintain social connections and stay in touch with others, especially during times of physical distancing.

However, like any trend, the selfie culture has its downsides. Studies have shown that excessive taking and sharing of selfies can lead to narcissism, self-objectification, and a decline in self-worth. The pressure to maintain a perfect image and receive validation from others can also have detrimental effects on mental health.

In conclusion, the psychology behind why we can’t stop taking selfies with our iPhones stems from our basic needs for self-esteem, self-expression, and social connections. It has become a way for us to present ourselves to the world, build confidence, and connect with others. While there are benefits to taking selfies, it is essential to strike a balance and not let it consume our sense of self-worth and worthiness of social acceptance. In moderation, selfies can be a fun and positive means of self-expression, but it is crucial to remember that our worth extends far beyond the perfect shot captured on our iPhones.