2017: The year The selfie dies?
Throw out your selfie stick – you won’t be needing it any more…
It’s 8am, -3°C and hard to get out of bed. Trudging to the office half awake, you could easily make the mistake of reaching for your phone in a desperate bid to seek comfort. Isn’t everyone feeling blue?
But if you were hoping your Facebook feed would be filled with photos of broken boilers and Lemsip, think again. The chapped-hand struggle is real and so is the infuriating stream of social media narcissism – AKA the selfie. Specifically those involving beaches, bikinis and six-packs.
But before you unfollow your entire Instagram (Louise Thompson, we’re looking at you) just for having a good time in January, we have some good news: selfies may have officially outstayed their welcome.
Last year, researchers at the University of Toronto examined a group of die-hard selfie takers and found that those who regularly pose for themselves significantly overestimated how attractive they are. After instructing each participant to take a selfie, they asked the group how attractive they thought their friends would rate the photo. Not only were they deemed to be less attractive, they were also judged as ‘significantly more narcissistic’ than photos taken by a separate group who don’t usually take selfies. And it seems the word is starting to leak out as more and more stars realise that posting these OTT snaps isn’t popular with their fanbase. If you need more evidence, just take a look at the sale of selfie sticks. Last October, John Lewis revealed that sales of the popular gadget were down 50 per cent on the previous year.
Eagle-eyed Instagram users may also have noticed certain celebrities and lifestyle bloggers sharing numerous New Year posts promoting 2017 as the year of self-confidence and urging their followers to remove users whose posts fail to inspire and only make them feel bad about themselves.
How many selfies is too many?
Showing Up The Shoff-offs
And it seems as though some users have taken note. Although Made In Chelsea’s Louise Thompson is our ultimate fitness inspiration right now, Instagram users have been quick to criticise her relentless stream of bikini selfies on recent back-to-back holidays over Christmas and New Year (17 in one week, to be precise). One user commented: ‘I know when I’m really enjoying a holiday, I spend the whole time posing for narcissistic photos and carefully editing them before uploading them for self validation from people I don’t know on the internet… Oh no, wait, I don’t actually.’ Another had clearly seen enough: ‘I’m out. Unfollow.’
But Louise isn’t the only celeb showing off on social. If you’ve ever wondered how many selfies is too many selfies, you’re about to find out. In September last year, Kim Kardashian revealed she took a whopping 6,000 selfies on a four-day holiday in Mexico – that’s 1,500 a day.
With Instagram users showing increasing dissatisfaction with celebrity posts, some stars have opted to disable comments after Instagram updated the platform last year. Model Chrissy Teigen chose to ban certain words from her posts in a bid to filter out negative comments and promote positivity.
So is the selfie really over? Have we finally reached peak narcissist? It does feel like we could really be experiencing a change. Let’s just hope that 2017 is the year that champions real, un-photoshopped beauty, à la make-up-free Alicia Keys – that’s what Look wants anyway...