Courtesy: Adam Rifkin (Attribution license)

You've done it. I've done it. We've all done it. So let's do away with the judgement and try and look at selfies as a tool for self-analysis.

The day may not be too far off when psychoanalysts ask their patients to take several selfies and then submit them for assessment.

Think about it. There are so many clues to one's personality in a selfie - the way you look at the camera, the kind of emotion you choose to portray - sensual, defiant, innocent, arrogant; the tilt of your head, the parting of your lips, the flare of your nostrils and the angle of your eyebrows.

Facial cues are not all there is to selfie-analysis. The clothes you decide to wear for this 'prescribed' photo shoot can speak volumes as well. Are they provocative or the kind that would draw minimal attention? The venue is another significant element. Do you click the selfie in a more private or a public setting?

Some of the behaviours and traits we might project through selfies are:

  • Attention-seeking behaviour
  • Self-esteem (high or low)
  • Happiness quotient (width and exuberance of the smile)
I suppose psychotherapists could provide their patients with a few predetermined settings and scenarios for the selfies; or other specifications that might help them assess the images better. Armed with a background knowledge of the patient's issues, the selfies should reveal more to the therapist than they would to a lay person.

The only issue here is that the treatment might work better with women as they are in general, more prone to taking selfies. And they're usually better at it too. But with women, a lot of other factors would come into play - the fact that we are more used to being objectified and also more aware of the effect our appearance can have on people and situations.

Maybe, you could take a look at your selfies yourself and see if they tell you a story you haven't entirely been aware of. Do they show you a side of your personality you never knew existed? Or a tinge of unexplainable sadness or glee?

Selfies could actually be the doorway to a lot of personal insights that were hidden to us until the widespread use of phone cameras.


  1. And I read somewhere that 'Selfies' were started by the the NASA to collect picture data about everybody in the world.. In a similar way as US govt collects data via tapping phone calls and emails :)
    Nice read!

  2. I never knew that so much analysis would follow an innocent selfie! Good that my phone doesn't have the front cam - I am not to be judged!

  3. Haha, you can take them from your back camera too. Just need long and flexible arms. :P

  4. Selfie is a tool for emotional insight ! not a bad overview, i wonder why so much is being research on a selfie, which only specifies its importance in this new generation !