The Surprising Way Other People See Your Selfies

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images.
This article was originally published on May 21, 2016.

According to a new study, other people may not perceive your selfies the same way you do.

University of Toronto researchers had 178 people rate the selfies of 198 college students on their attractiveness, as well as how narcissistic and likable the subjects seemed. People also rated their own photos on these same criteria. The researchers also had subjects rate photos taken by people who weren't in them.

Even though people thought they seemed more attractive and likable in photos they took themselves, other people thought they were better-looking, more likable, and less narcissistic in photos taken by others.

While interesting, these findings don't have to change how you present yourself on social media. Plenty of people take selfies for their own pleasure and don't care what other people think of them. And if other people are perceiving you as narcissistic based on your Instagram photos, that's not your problem.

Another reason to take these results with a grain of salt? They came from a small pool of college students and may not be indicative of the general population.

Ultimately, the whole point of selfies is that they give the people taking them total control over the images. That means selfie-takers should feel free to share the selfies they feel best about, regardless of how others perceive them.
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