These days, when we reach for our phones to capture a moment, more often than not, we feel the need to include our faces in the photo. The front-facing camera has been truly revolutionary. And because there’s no denying that we love our selfies, there has been a lot of debate about what it promotes: self-love or narcissism?
Student researchers from Brigham Young University found that there are essentially three types of selfie-takers: (1) communicators, (2) autobiographers, and (3) self-publicists. They asked 46 participants about their theories on why people take selfies and then analyzed their responses.
Communicators engage their audience in conversation. It encourages their followers to think, to debate. Co-researcher Maureen Elinzano explains, "Communicators are all about two-way communication."
Autobiographers are those who use selfies as a form of documentation; it’s a way for someone to keep records of his or her life, making Instagram or Facebook their digital scrapbook. While autobiographers do want people to have visuals of their lives, they don’t necessarily need feedback from their audience.
Lastly, self-publicists are "self-promoters." Some famous examples are the Kardashians. Co-author Harper Anderson asserts, "…In documenting and sharing their lives, they’re hoping to present themselves and their stories in a positive light."
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.