I-Team: Why so many selfies? - WNEM TV 5

I-Team: Why so many selfies?

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Selfies. They are everywhere, but why do people post them? A group of professors wanted to find out.

"I post a lot of selfies and now they have so many filters. It just makes it more exciting," said Natalie Henderson, Central Michigan University student.

Henderson said she has no problem snapping a photo and showing it off.

"The angles! You can get your right, the left and it really just shows what's your perfect side," Henderson said.

Why are selfies so popular among people like Henderson? Why are so many people obsessed with them? A team of three CMU professors studied the selfie phenomenon. They sent out a survey to 366 people and did a deep dive into the selfie craze.

"We were inspired to do the study because we would be on social media and we would see some people post a ton of selfies and some people post hardly any selfies. And we started to think about why is that," said Patty Williamson, CMU professor.

The professors gave the I-Team the first glimpse of their findings. Williamson said contrary to popular belief, vanity is far from the most common reason for posting a selfie.

"Interestingly enough we found that really wasn't the case because it is one of the variables. What we found that most people post selfies either for entertainment of they think people are going to be entertained by their selfies," Williamson said.

Researchers found the social media site you post your selfies to also could be a good indication of your age.

"We looked at five different social media platforms and the older participants tended to favor older forms of social media versus the younger participants favor younger forms of social media. We found older people post on Facebook and the younger people tend to post more on Snapchat," said Trey Stohlman, CMU professor.

They also looked at who posts more selfies, men or women.

"Yeah, we think the most interesting thing was the fact there was no gender difference. Men are just as likely to post selfies as women. I think everyone thinks women do it more, but no men do it too," said Heather Polinsky, CMU professor.

After completion of the research the professors were curious to know how selfies affect friendships, education and business relationships.

"I see more and more students taking selfies, not just posting them but taking them at really weird PR inappropriate times. We can walk down a hallway of a building and just see students randomly stop in the middle of the hallway to take a selfie," Stohlman said.

The trio said they hope to do more research and apply the information to how it impacts lives long term and find out what kind of problems can arise from too many selfies.

Henderson said no matter what the data shows she gets hundreds of likes when she posts so she makes sure to do it often.

"At least once per day, maybe twice. It just depends on the day and how I look," Henderson said.

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