Break out your flower crowns and dog-ear filters, photo lovers—it’s National Selfie Day!
Selfies have been sweeping the nation for years. From Apple’s release of the front-facing camera in 2010 to Ellen Degeneres’ star-studded selfie at the 2014 Oscars to new spherical cameras allowing for 360-degree selfies, this trend shows no sign of stopping.
So while you were cheek-to-cheek with your BFF, practically dislocating your shoulder to capture that perfect angle, we used SurveyMonkey Audience to research people’s selfie habits.
We sent a quick poll to a balanced sample of the U.S. population and found a whopping 89% of people ages 18-54 have taken a selfie.
And of those who’ve ever taken a selfie, 56% take selfies a few times a month or more.
That’s more than double what we found in our 2015 selfie habits study, where we saw only 27% of people snap pics of themselves at least a few times a month.
When and why are people taking selfies? Here’s the breakdown:
- 71% take selfies with friends or family
- 63% take selfies by themselves (say that 3 times fast)
- 15% take selfies when they meet someone famous
And, yes, others wrote in that they take selfies with their pets. Furry friend or no, it seems like there’s never really a bad time to take a selfie:
- 50% take them while traveling (hopefully not driving)
- 36% take them at home
- 21% take selfies when they’re bored
By the way,people aged 18-29 are most likely to take selfies when they’re bored (41%) versus those aged 30-34 (14%) and 45+ (8%).
We also asked people what they like about taking selfies. Here’s some of what they said:
- “Selfies help you remember things you were doing at that time”
- “Everyone can be in the picture”
- “It’s a good way to document significant physical changes like weight loss, haircuts, makeovers, etc.”
- “You don’t have to rely on strangers to take a photo of you”
- “It’s fun!”
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So what do people dislike about selfies?
- “It’s hard to get the right angle”
- “They seem rather vain and silly. I don’t see why people need so many pictures of themselves.”
- “They highlight my insecurities”
- “Front-facing cameras are lower quality than the main cameras on most phones”
- “It’s hard to hold my phone out”
- “My arms aren’t long enough to get everyone in the frame”
With all the rampant selfie-taking, you’d think we’d have found a better way to actually snap the picture. Selfie sticks and other accessories have attempted to take advantage of the craze, but the tried and true method of simply (well, clearly not so simply) reaching out your arm is how 96% of selfie takers get their shots.
Mobile apps continue to innovate and change the selfie game with Snapchat releasing new filters all the time and Instagram hopping on the stories bandwagon. People are starting to take their selfies directly in apps besides their camera app: 32% in Snapchat, 18% in Facebook, and 13% in Instagram.
When we really get down to it, are selfies around for the long haul? Or are they just a fleeting trend? Well, 68% of selfie takers think selfies will stand the test of time. One respondent wrote in, “I remember taking them with disposable cameras in the 90s long before they were popular. I think selfies will be around as long as people take photos, because they’re convenient.”
Are selfies going to replace baseball as the national pastime? Probably not. But it’ll be interesting to track consumer behavior to see if and when selfies become passé—and what the next (over)sharing trend will be.
About the study: On June 13th, 2017, we used SurveyMonkey Audience to send out a survey to 250 adults age 18-54 in the US. The sample was balanced by age according to the US Census.