The Perfect Selfie

As a group, we thought it would be a good idea to test out trying to create the ‘perfect’ selfie ourselves as primary research. Below is the results.

An experiment to test how long it takes to get the perfect selfie on Snapchat, the group timed how long it took each person to take the photo. In thought of the film, where we look to incorporate the ‘selfie’ into it, we decided that we wanted to use filters in order to highlight the element of ‘facade’.

Here are the selfies:

Interestingly, or maybe not, James took the longest!
One thing to mention as well in terms of duration is the fact that even some people (Josh) don’t use Snapchat so part of the duration of taking a picture comes down to selecting a filter as well. Quite a lot of the time was spent checking each one before deciding the ‘perfect’ filter to use for the ‘perfect’ selfie but someone else that uses Snapchat may have a quick time as they would already have the knowledge of all the filters there are, as they would’ve used it that morning or something, so they would just go to that filter and dismiss all the other ones.
Maybe that factor plays a massive role in affecting the duration to taking the ‘perfect’ selfie and could be retested perhaps…

Although there is such a thing as the ‘perfect’ selfie, maybe not even this array of selfies are deemed perfect by everyone who participated within this collection.
Yet one thing that is for sure is that everyone has a different idea of what the ‘perfect’ selfie is but that depends on the person’s taste and the context of which the selfie is taken as well.


Recently, the group conducted another experiment on selfies but this takes it up a notch by sacrificing our status on Facebook through uploading our experiment on Facebook.
In order to see the reaction from social media, the group took a 10 second selfie without any filters or effects and then proceeded to do one without any time restrictions and the allowing of filters and effects.

These were the initial uploads on Facebook, without any effects:

15 minutes later, we wanted to see the reaction from Facebook to the unedited selfie:

With some of the pictures looking perfectly fine, some people still felt embarrassed to put the selfie onto Facebook, especially in Laura’s case, as she doesn’t want people to see that particular selfie, most likely because it hasn’t got her favourite filter, which she uses later and has stated it makes her skin look smoother.

We had taken the second set of selfies but upon uploading it, James wanted to upload upload a different selfie taken days before which had him wearing the same cap, same shirt, and same filter so Laura opposed of that idea and they argued about it for quite a while as James was really insistent that it wasn’t the one he took just now.
Possibly, it could be because the selfie from the other day with the same components was much better than the recent one he took, which relates to the idea of the ‘perfect’ selfie again in how maybe it was lighted better, posed better, or just the aesthetics were better in the one before. The reluctance of uploading the recent one to Facebook yet again shows the face value of presenting something to a wider audience in wanting it to be the best of the best when showing others in respects to perfection thus leading more people to like it even more in a value of subconscious pride perhaps.
Also take note that within James’ selfie, he also asked someone else to put point the ceiling lamp towards his direction for better lighting but even with this added component towards his selfie, he still chose the selfie before over the recent selfie.

These were the selfies with added filters using popular social networking app Snapchat to upload on to Facebook:

15 minutes later, we wanted to see the reaction from Facebook to the Snapchat selfie:

Interestingly, the unedited ones seems to have more interest…
But there were many factors we overlooked and didn’t take into account when doing this particular activity. One of them is the timing of when the selfies were done. Not everyone is available at a particular time so maybe this test should’ve been extended to 24 hours where more people would see the selfies and make a response to it.
Another would be how many friends you have on Facebook. I suggest a theory where the more social you are, the quicker and higher the amount of likes you get within a small amount of time compared to someone who rarely uses social networking sites.
There is another factor too and it’s possibly the fact we kept liking each other’s selfies once it was uploaded and we shouldn’t really do that as we are doing the experiment together and the results will falter from it in a way.

A funny factor within this collection of selfies is that they are all serious selfies, except Josh’s hilarious entries to the list.
Sure, you wouldn’t want to upload some of the selfies to Facebook due to a fear of being judged but it seems Josh will never want to take a selfie like everyone else does on his own. In his own reasoning, he finds that he doesn’t have the confidence to take a normal-faced selfie as it could be for a variety of reasons. Possibly it’s because he’s not used to taking selfies in a serious fashion. Maybe he likes to express his personality in his selfies through this fashion. Or perhaps it could be he feels his face is more suited for funny comedic selfies such as these and he thinks his usual face is ugly so he hides this with comedy…

Another thing to mention as well is the factor of friends as well. If you have stack loads of friends, you wouldn’t want to post something really absurd if you are normal and don’t want to lose friends or have people telling you you’re weird (again, with that fear of being judged by others).
In Josh’s example though, even though he normally doesn’t take normal selfies, there is a sense in which maybe he doesn’t care what others think of him or maybe the people who are friends with him wouldn’t be as judgemental perhaps and he trusts others with their opinions of him. Maybe he’s trying to show his lifestyle across in such a fashion but other than that, we tend to think a lot about how we want to represent ourselves to the world.

Through different ideas of what the ‘perfect’ selfie is, this experiment showed just how much we fear how others view us through something possibly minor as a selfie if the selfie was not ‘perfect’.
We take so much care into adjusting the ‘perfect’ selfie so that we can show the whole world just how beautiful we are, even with how subconsciously fake we become in the process. In some senses, it also shows about what a person thinks of themselves through the way in which their selfies are done and the kind of selection of the selfie you wanted to post, even if it was not of a recent one in the choice of the ‘perfect’ selfie to upload.

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