Sunday, 13 July 2014

The real reason behind why we love selfies

Photo Courtesy : Wikipedia
I love looking through photographs people put up on their Facebook, partly out of curiosity about other people’s ‘Facebook moments’ and partly out of a genuine love for photography, particularly portraits. I have made two interesting observations while going through hundreds of random photographs.   

Firstly, as social platforms become more and more image dependent, everyone seems increasingly obsessed with their appearance. There seems to be some kind of an unwritten rule that every ‘Facebook moment’ deserves the best attire and attitude and no one seems to want to risk breaking this holy grail.

By simply making cameras more accessible and allowing the sharing of ‘life’s key moments’ with everyone who matters, technology has done what a plethora of beauty and fashion brands have been struggling with over a century – get the whole human race to put in a little more effort into their appearance.

The second observation is even more telling.  Everyone worth their little mobile phone cameras now know all about angles and lighting – something that previously was the exclusive domain of serious photographers and photography enthusiasts. Anyone today can tell you how to ‘lose your paunch or the double chin’ for the perfect click by just ensuring the angle and the lighting is right.

These two observations make me arrive at one conclusion. It is not good enough to provide tools basis necessity, but it is really about understanding human motivations and tapping into that. While there were always enough options to make one look better and camera existed to capture key moments of one’s life, perhaps what was missing was the instant gratification of mass appreciation of one’s appearance. Look what has happened since technology made that possible.

This behaviour of ours just reiterates an old wisdom from the world of branding - it is not good enough to understand what problem a particular product can solve, but it is essential to understand what is the real human motivation that will get consumers to reach out for the brand. 

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