The Difference of Selfie Uses in Age Groups essay

TheDifference of Selfie Uses in Age Groups

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TheDifference of Selfie Uses in Age Groups

Theadvancement of technology and the availability of the mobile phone,in particular, have taken the self-presentation to a whole new level.Whereas other ways of photo taking did not give an individual thechance of self-presentation, cell phone images or the selfie aspopularly known, provide the person with the opportunity to determineexactly how they want their image to appear (Leary &ampJongman-Sereno, 2010).

Thefact that an individual can rotate the angle of the camera to suittheir specifications implies that one can take a picture in the exactway they want. The selfie is more attractive than other ways of phototaking employed in the past, probably informed by the availability ofthe cell phones that are fitted with cameras. However, the taking ofpictures and hence selfies is influenced by factors such as the agegroups, races, and gender. This paper delves into the differences inthe use of selfie among the ages. The paper also endeavors to findout if gender and races have any influence on the utilization of theselfies.


Theoryof Self-Presentation

Accordingto the theory, the proponent was interested in the way that thepeople present themselves to others, hence, the roles they play inshowing themselves (Goffman, 1978). The proponent of the theoryreferred to the act of self-presentation as ‘creating a desiredimpressions`. Goffman says that people create ‘masks` and‘personas` to be active in the playing of each role (Goffman, E.1978). The author says the setting influences how the individualsplay their role of self-presentation (Goffman, 1978).

Therefore,the change in the behavior of the person in respect toself-presentation is determined by the social environment. The authorargues that the self is full of self-presentations and roleperformances based on the contexts of each situation. In short, theself is all about acting to suit the individual circumstances andtheir social environments. The proponent of the theory says that thesocial life of people is a theater that has social scripts,performances, and actors, each with roles to perform in front and inthe back regions of the self. Therefore, each would endeavor topresent themselves in a particular way to create a given impressionabout the person (Goffman, 1978).


Theterm neighborhood has diverse meanings and applications. For example,a district could be applied to refer to the groups of residential ordwelling houses in the vicinity of one`s home or a larger region withclosed-related housing types and market values(Leventhal, &amp Brooks-Gunn, 2000).Neighborhoods were selected for the research as people from the sameneighborhood have more or less similar patterns of behavior. Thesimilarities are informed by the fact that neighbors have similar orclose social, economic status

Thecommunity is also used to refer to an area surrounding a majorlandmark such as a local institution patronized by the inhabitants,such as a church, school, or social agency. It can also be describedby a political boundary or precinct. The idea of district orneighborhood implies both geographic or place-oriented and social orpeople-oriented components.

Theseseveral interpretations lead to a healthy debate on what boundariesare most useful in community planning efforts. Academically, everysector has a different rationale for their definition(Leventhal, &amp Brooks-Gunn, 2000).Neighborhood associations and community groups offer theirinterpretations. City Planning departments usually demarcate areaboundaries along census tract boundaries. And, in fact, city dwellersquite frequently have a very different mental map of theirneighborhood than the officially intended zone areas used by plannersand policymakers. All definitions are crucial and meaningful(Kawachi &amp Berkman, 2003).The question is how one begins to reconcile agreement over thedefinitions so that the discussion focuses not on boundarydescriptions but on how to contribute and make positive impacts inthe neighborhoods. The inhabitants of a neighborhood participate inmore or less similar activities, attend same schools, often work insame industries and some are even on the same salary scales. In theuse of the selfies, a neighborhood is therefore an independentvariable that applies to all the people within the vicinity, anyother factors notwithstanding.

Aselfie is a picture or an image of an individual and is taken mostlyfor sharing on the social networking websites. That is the simplemeaning, but there are several meanings of why people do it and whyit has turned out to be such a huge trend in the world (Leary, &ampJongman-Sereno, 2010). Most people take selfies, but they are morepopular among the younger people, probably informed by the fact thatthey are more digital users than the older generations. Some selfiesare closeups while others show part of arms held straight outward,yet others feature the subject standing in front of big mirrors suchas the bathroom ones so that they take a full body shot of thereflection.

Thesocial networks are the driving forces of most selfie activities andhence the kids who want to stay connected with friends, girlfriendsand families are more active in the sharing selfie on a regularbasis. Several factors make people take selfies includingpsychological ones. However, the conventional theories suggest thatthe majority of the citizens do it to get attention. The people liketo get the attention on the social media and to find out what thecomments of others would be. The rationale is to find out thecomments that they get from the friends and even strangers as a wayof boosting their ego.

Anotherreason why the young people are the leading demographic selfie-takersis to uplift their self-esteem, though most theories do not say whathappens to the esteem in the case of negative comments. It is knownthat most of the teenagers and school kids have esteem issues, hence,why they are quick to use the selfies to show off their latestachievements. Whenever they want to feel good about themselves, theyjust reach out to their cell phones and document the moments. Theselfie is also used to get particular attention.

Teenagersare socially connected to people they admire and are compelled toupload attractive selfies as a strategy to get the attention from theindividuals. The selfie is also a useful strategy to flirt when theyouths and teenagers are bored. Whenever they are bored at work,school, or even at home, some see taking selfies as a good way topass the time. Others just take selfies because it`s fun toparticipate in the social media. They view the social media as anavenue to upload as many selfies as possible, even when they do nothave genuine reasons to do it. They just do it because it is a coolway to document any aspects of their lives.


Theselfies are mostly used in the social media, and it is important topoint out that social media is not discriminating and hence is usedby the old and the young. Therefore, the selfie is used by peoplefrom all the age groups, and the only difference is the proportionsthat use them for each of the ages. People from all backgrounds,race, gender, and religions have been found to use selfies indifferent dimensions. Most of the parents and even the grandparentsare on the Facebook, and it would be correct to conclude thatFacebook is the most influential social media at the moment.

Mostof the people on the Facebook, the majority who are in their twentiesuse selfies. It has been found out that majority of the youths aregravitating towards other social media groups such as Snap Chat andInstagram where the use of selfies has been prominent (Baym, 2015).Although the older generations are on social media, they haveentirely different reasons from the teenagers. The older generationsuse the selfies to keep touch with the families while the teens usethe selfies to look cool in front of relatives and friends. For thisassignment, it would be proper to create clear boundaries between theage groups.

The‘baby boomers` generation consists of the individuals born in theperiod between 1946 and 1964, the ‘Ben X` generation was bornbetween 1965 and 1989 while the ‘Millenials` were born from 1990 todate. The use of the selfies is the highest among the Millennialsfollowed by the ‘Ben X` generation in that order. The baby boomersuse the selfies but for entirely different reasons from theMillennials. The use of the selfies is therefore largely dependent onthe age, with the teenagers being the most frequent users.

Themiddle age group uses the selfies mostly to capture family moments,unlike the teens who use the images to document the individualmoments (Ellison, Heino, &amp Gibbs, 2006). Of course, there aredeviations. The people in the median ages use selfies more than someof the peers, a fact which is not easy to document. Whereas age is amajor factor in the use of selfie, gender also plays an importantrole (Naimi, et al. 2003). Across the age groups, the females use theselfies more than their male counterparts. Therefore, the women inthe teenage years make use of the selfies than any other group acrossthe age brackets.

Themale teenagers have attributed the influence of their female peers asthe primary reason they use the selfies (Baym, 2015). The race haslittle impact on the use of selfies compared with age or the genderpower. However, the whites use the selfies more than the blacks.Thedifference is slight, and it would be hard to capture the difference.When the difference occurs, it would be attributed to the fact whitepeople like to capture and document moments of their lives much morethan the blacks just like it is known that the whites take morephotos than the blacks. Religion is also an important factor in theuse of selfies. The Christians make and use the selfies more than theMuslims, who are the other main religion regarding numbers (Baym,2015).

StudiesRelated to the Relationship

Manyquestions have been asked in the past about the people behindselfies. Most people agree that selfies are mostly taken by the youngpeople. It is also recognized that women prefer taking selfies thanmen. The variations are dependent on the geographical locations. Aresearch endeavored to study 4500 selfies from across six citiesaround the world, to develop an understanding of the role of agegroups and gender in the use of the selfies. The analysis andvisualizations focused on 3200 images taken from five cities.

Fora start, 140,000 images were downloaded as sample images fromInstagram users. The samples consisted photos shared by people in thecentral regions of six global cities within a period of one week in December of 2015.30,000 images were from Tokyo, 30,000 from NewYork,20,000 from Bangkok, 20,000 from Berlin, 20,000 from Moscow and20,000 taken in Sao Paolo. To confirm that the images were selfies,they were defined as photographs taken by oneself. To avoid anyambiguity, several people were asked to review the selfies for abetter consensus.

Atleast three reviewers were each called upon to confirm that indeedeach of the 140,000 images were selfies. To resolve any disagreementsmajority votes was called to make the final determination if thepictures were indeed selfies. After all the clarifications, it wasfound out that Sao Paolo had a selfie rate of less than four percentwhile Tokyo had a significantly lower rate of 1% of the selfie. Onthe gender lines, the selfie distribution was more skewed towards thefemales. For example, in Moscow, it was found that a selfie is fourtimes more likely to be used by a woman than a man. Over the entirepopulations in the cities under study, it was found that men who takeselfies are older than their female counterparts. Bangkok was foundto have the youngest selfie enthusiasts while New York has theoldest. Regarding ages, people in the early twenties were found todominate selfies on the Instagram. The age of the selfie wasdetermined by asking several reviewers to determine their best guess.The exact age was determined by taking the median of the estimates.The reviewers` standard deviation was computed to ascertain the ageof the selfie

of the Research

Fromthe research, it is explicit that more young people, especially inthe teenage years, use the selfies than individuals in the other agebrackets, the study also reveals that the women use the selfies morethan their male counterparts. It is also crucial to point out thatthe females in their twenties use the selfies more than any othergroup across the ages. Most of the users in the middle age groups usethe selfies to document family moments while the teenagers use theselfies simply because it`s cool to do so. The older generationpopularly known as the ‘baby boomers` use the selfies to stay intouch with their loved ones, especially the family members (Wechsleret al., 2002). The young men in the teenage years use the selfiesunder some influence from their female counterparts. The use of theselfies is widely determined by age and gender. Regarding age, theuse of the selfies reduces as people age. The female sex uses theservice more than men. There is no clear distinction in the use ofselfies among different races, but the whites were found to use themmore.


Theresearch aims to answer the question that more young people use theselfies more than the older generations. In the study, the differentage groups are focused on addressing any discrepancies that mayemerge regarding their use of the selfies.To answer the question theage groups would be divided into three categories. The older groupcomprises of people born in the periods from 1946-1964, the middlegroup consists of people born from 1965-1989, while the Millennialsis the youngest group born between 1990 to date. The research alsoendeavors to address the question of gender in the use of theselfies. The question of race in the use of selfies would also beanswered in the research.


Theresearch attempts to find out if the ‘Millenials` or the youth areinformal in the use of the selfies. The article also finds out if theolder generation popularly known as the baby boomers is more formalwhen taking the selfies. The research aims to determine if there isany age difference in the use of the selfies in an endeavor to createa better understanding of the issue. The study also aims to find outif gender is a factor in the use of the selfies.


Thequestionnaire method was used to find out the sentiments ofindividuals from different age groups on their use of selfie. Themethod was adopted to make it possible to capture larger amounts ofdata with limited effect on the validity and reliability (Neuman,2005). The decision to choose the method was also informed by thefact that data obtained from the questionnaire method is quick tocollect and is easily quantifiable. The method is also more practicalin approach and can be analyzed more scientifically and objectively(Neuman, 2005).

Inthe study group of 2400 people from New York City, from across theages were focused. The group consisted of 1200 males and an equalnumber of females. The main criteria used in the selection of theparticipants were the possession of a mobile Smartphone. The ruleswere informed by the fact selfies are taken via the utilization of aSmartphone. To ensure that a representative data was captured, everyattempt was made to make sure that people from different age groups,races, and religions were selected. Among those selected, 800 werebetween the ages of 16-34,800 were between the ages of 35-54 while800 were 55years and above.

TheParticipants were to respond to the question about the average numberof selfies they take in a week. The participants were also to answerthe question about the circumstances in which they take the selfies.To be answered too is the social networks that the member uses mostfrequently, mainly to upload the selfies captured. Other questionswere the frequency of the use of selfies by family members, friends,and colleagues and with strangers. The participants were also toanswer the question on the number of times they took selfies within aweek.


Theresults showed than 80% of the people aged from 16-34 take at leastone selfie daily. The reasons given for the use of the selfiesdiffered. A proportion of those who take at least one selfie dailysaid they do so to upload to the social media. Only about 20% of thegroup stated that they take selfies for other purposes. 40% of thegroup said they take selfies for sentimental reasons while the restsaid they take them to document their experiences.

Althoughthe issue of the selfie seemed quite fascinating to both the malesand females within the age group, it was found that of the 80% whotake at least a selfie daily, 60% were women while males were just40%. 20% of all the participants said that they take at least threeselfies in a week while 30% take at least five selfies daily. Of thepeople who take more than five selfies daily, 70% were found to befemales. So it is clear that apart from the fact that there are abigger proportion of the women who take selfies in comparison to themales, the males make significantly lesser numbers compared to thefemales.

Inthe age 35-54 category, it was found that 63% of the total takes atleast one selfie daily, while the rest said they take at least twoselfies in a week. 90% of the females in the group were among thosewho take at least one selfie per day. Of the group that takes atleast one selfie daily, 70%were females and only 30% were males. 80%of the men said that they only take the selfies in the company of afamily member while 65% of women made the same claim. 10% of the menstated that they only take selfies once a month while 5% said thatthey don`t take them at all. Only 2% percent of the females reportedthat they don`t take selfies at all. The differences in race werenegligible, although the white members of the group recorded slightlyhigher figures across the gender divide.

Amongthe those aged 55years and above, only 40% said that they take atleast a selfie daily while the rest stated that they take at leasttwo selfies in a week. Those who take at least one selfie daily 80%said they do so in the company of the family members while 20% statedthat they do so in the company of friends and colleagues. 15% of themales reported that they don`t take selfies at all, and only 4% ofthe females do not. 55% of all the participants in the group saidthat they take the selfies in the company of their grandchildren.60%of the male members stated that they take at least one selfie in amonth, and that usually happens while away from home. The group had asignificantly bigger proportion of white people who take the selfiescompared with the other two groups.


Itis explicit from the results that the use of the selfie is differentamong different age groups. It is, therefore, explicit that theyounger the individuals, the more they make use of selfies in theirday to day lives. The teenagers, mostly in their twenties exploit theselfies more than any other age group. The females tend to utilizethe selfies more than their male counterparts. The phenomenon hasbeen noted across the age groups and races. Most of the youths take aselfie to upload on the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram. The teenagers do not have any particular reasons whythey upload their photos on the social networks. However, quite a bigproportion said that they do it just to boost their confidence.Although most of the people in the median ages use selfies, they takethem to document family moments. Most of the senior citizens abovefifty years use selfies mainly to keep in touch with the relatives.


Althoughthe methodology provided accurate first-hand information of theparticipants, it is subjective, and personal biases could not beruled out. Some of the older members of the participants felt thatsome of the questions were an intrusion on their private lives andtherefore were not very comfortable as they answered (Neuman, 2005).The limited resources made it quite untenable to capture a biggernumber of participants. Another limitation was that it is hard tounderstand if changes in behavior and emotions of the participantswould have yielded different results. There were a limited number ofquestions formulated and therefore it`s not known if the memberswould have wanted to answer any other matters. All the questions wereasked online and hence it is difficult to tell if the participantswould have given different answers if they were physically present.


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