The Obsession Behind Selfies

By | December 8, 2014

By Alex Noudelman

Through the introduction of social media, people have been able to express themselves in ways that were not available in the past. People can share how they feel, where they are and where they are going, amongst others things.

But one is not limited to words when comes to what is taking place in their life, they can also take pictures of themselves. And while one can share pictures of where they have visited or the time they have spent with friends or family, another option is for them to take close up pictures of their face.

When one takes these kinds of pictures, they might be in front of something significant but at the same time, they might not. The primary focus of the image is then their face and what is taking place behind them is therefore irrelevant.

Ellen DeGeneres group Oscar selfie

A Behavioural Change

It stands out because their behaviour has changed and while another person’s behaviour may stand out, it is normal. There may have been a time when their behaviour would have stood out but as time has passed, it is probably what people have come to expect of them.

So when it relates to someone who has changed their behaviour from that of someone who rarely shared them, to someone who is, more or less, constantly sharing them, it could be said that one’s emotional state has recently changed.

Emotional State

This could be a sign that something minor has occurred in their life or it could be something far more significant. Their pictures could then be a cry for help and a way for them to receive some kind of support and validation during a challenging time in their life.

And through the responses that one receives from the Selfies they share, one will then be able to change how they feel. The affect they have on their emotional state could make a massive difference and play a part in one being able to get over a tough period in their life.


One may have been through a break up and therefore not only do they feel bad, but their self image may have been affected. The responses they receive from others cause them to feel better and to reinforce their self image.

Another Outcome

This could also go the other way though, as one might not get the responses they desire. Or the external feedback that one does receive from others might work in the beginning but as time passes, it might start to wear off.

The law of diminishing returns is then at work and one will need to do more in order to experience the same effect. So one might start to take more Selfies or they could even go even further and come to the conclusion that they need to change their appearance.


This could be a new hair style, different makeup, a tan or even some kind of cosmetic enhancement. Here, one has allowed the opinions of others to define how they feel and their level of self worth.

And while human beings are interdependent and therefore need to receive positive feedback from others, one is going to create problems for themselves when they become dependent on the views of others.

The Modern Day World

One argument could be that posting Selfies is just a reflection of the modern day world and is a consequence of modern technology and there is probably an element of truth to this. However, just because something has become normal or is a common occurrence, it doesn’t mean that it is therefore healthy.

For one thing, today’s society doesn’t exactly entourage people to be themselves or to realise that they are enough. And people’s childhoods rarely set them up to feel that they are enough or give them the ability to regulate their emotions.

Emotional Regulation

These two factors can then cause people to be dependent on the views of others when it comes to how they feel and see themselves. So when one can’t regulate their emotions, they’re going to need to find ways to regulate how they feel. And posting a Selfie is one way for someone to regulate their emotions.

Two Sides

And while one may have a self image that is relatively strong in the beginning, through opening themselves up and looking for validation from others, it could start to diminish as time goes by. One can begin to base their value on how people respond to their images.

This shows that it is not just the people who lack a strong sense of self and are dependent on others who can be drawn into this; it can also have an effect on people who were initially strong. The reason they were sucked in could be due to a current challenge in their life.


So then, posting Selfies is clearly not something that is black and white, there are many different factors involved. And taking pictures of oneself and then sharing them with the world is not something that one should feel ashamed of.

About Alex Noudelman & iRISEmedia

Alex Noudelman is a Toronto Digital Marketing Executive at He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College. is a web design, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and online reputation management firm in Toronto, Canada. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Alex Noudelman.

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