Bright Side

Why People Judge Our Selfies So Harshly, No Matter How Perfect They Look

Here you go again. You’ve found a nice spot for an impromptu photoshoot, taken at least a dozen selfies, and spent quite a lot of time picking the most gorgeous one to post. But it’s not that simple. No matter how good you think you look in that perfect photo, your followers on social media may have a different opinion.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve taken a closer look at studies that reveal what people really think of the pictures we post on social media, especially when they’re selfies.

Those of us who post more selfies than posies are viewed as less successful and more insecure, experts say.

Have you ever wondered what people who don’t know you think of your personality when looking at your pics on social media? That’s what psychologists from Washington State University tried to find out in recent studies. To see what really hides behind the likes on social media, the scientists analyzed what one group of people thought about the personalities of various people simply by looking at their social media pics.

The results of the study were surprising. It turned out that people who posted more selfies were viewed by others as less successful, less likable, less open to new things, and more insecure. “Even when 2 feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive,” said Chris Barry, a WSU professor of psychology. “It shows there are certain visual cues, independent of context, that elicit either a positive or negative response on social media.”

On top of that, selfies praising physical appearances, such as flexing in front of a mirror, were perceived as especially negative. On the contrary, people who post more posies, or pics of them taken by someone else, were viewed by others as more confident and outgoing, more adventurous and successful, and were thought to have good friend potential.

Why do we judge each other’s selfies so harshly?

A positive reaction to posies may be explained by the fact that they generally look more natural than selfies. Our posies show us the way others would see us in real life and it makes them look more pleasant. What’s more, is that if you usually post posies on your social media account and then your followers suddenly see a selfie, this may signal to them that there’s something strange or unusual about your personality. And let’s not forget that our selfies often show us from a different angle which can make us look quite different than we do in other pics.

While you may not even think about it, people can make a lot of conclusions about your life and personality when they see your selfies. When we post more selfies than posies, it may seem as if we’re not sociable enough and that we don’t have friends because there’s no one to take a picture of us, therefore, we had to do it ourselves. Some studies even found a link between selfie posting and narcissism which implies a strong demand for admiration, and experts believe others can feel it through looking at our pics.

The results of these studies don’t necessarily mean people won’t like your selfies or that they’ll think something bad about you, but they’re definitely food for thought. Next time you’re about to post another selfie, try to imagine what someone who doesn’t know you may think about your life based on your pics. Are your selfies sending the right signals?

Do you post selfies on social media? If yes, have you noticed that people tend to judge them way more than they do other pictures of you?

Preview photo credit selenagomez / Instagram