Try to go on Instagram and not see a selfie within the first five posts. Mission impossible.
Selfies have become a part of our everyday lives in a way I don't think people truly understand or realize. If you ask most people why they post selfies, they won't actually know why.
It has just infiltrated the culture with seemingly no origin or reason.
Snapchat is an application in which people just boringly send their faces (or penises) to their friends. But why?
1. Narcissism needs an audience.
The third most commonly used hashtag on Instagram is #me. The only surprising thing about that fact is it's only the third most common, not number one.
Whether you are a true narcissist or the most modest of mice, there will always be a sliver of narcissism in posting a photo you took of yourself on the Internet.
As a proud narcissist and megalomaniac, I am fully aware that posting a selfie is an exercise in ego enhancement.
Showing your "#ootd" is a nice way of saying, "Look how much better I dress than you do." Bragging has achieved the platform it deserves.
Thanks to social media, we can finally force an audience of our peers to feed our arrogance with likes and comments.
If, at any point, you see something beautiful to take a photo of and decide you should be in the photo as well, you are using selfies to stroke your ego.
Whether it is a conscious effort or not, your selfies are narcissistic and a tad self-aggrandizing. I mean, what's the point of being better than everyone if you can't casually display it on a daily basis?
2. We want people to perceive us a certain way.
We have no idea what we actually look like or what people truly think about us. Selfies provide us the opportunity to show ourselves the way we would prefer to be seen by others.
Most of what we do is with the goal of adhering to social norms and to conform to what society has established as status quo.
We all just want people to like us and we are all seeking our own identities; our self-identities are completely dependent on how others perceive us.
When you take a selfie of yourself in the mirror at the gym, you want people to know you work out. When you post a selfie of yourself rock climbing, you want people to know you are outdoorsy and adventurous.
Batman doesn't consider himself a superhero; we do. If he did consider himself a superhero, he would constantly be posting selfies of himself in the batcave looking cool and sh*t.
That example was either genius or the dumbest thing I've ever written, but point is, we try so hard to depict ourselves as more than we truly are.
At the end of the day, nobody really cares about you or what you are doing.
3. Beauty is in the eye of the Instagram liker.
Outside of narcissism, vanity is one of the biggest human traits we all experience to varying capacities. Without Instagram likes, how would we know we're pretty?
People who, before social media existed, would be irrelevant, now have tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, solely because they are physically attractive. Instagram models are a thing that exists now.
We all want attention, and if we are one of the beautiful people, we cannot get enough of it. I know for a fact my self-esteem is entirely dependent on how many likes I get.
Beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder, as we now all have Instagram likes to quantify our attractiveness.
4. Hive minds.
As I mentioned earlier, we all just want people to like us, and what easier way than to just emulate what everyone else is doing?
Seventy-five percent of people ages 18 to 24 have taken a selfie at one point; it looks like all the cool kids are doing it, so we must all do it, too.
Often, conforming to what is culturally popular isn't a conscious decision we make. When you scroll through your Facebook News Feed and all you see is selfies, you are bound to fall into the trend.
We use selfies to enhance our communication. Now that everyone interacts via text messages, sending a photo of our faces can personalize a conversation that is otherwise absent of any human quality.
So, perhaps, selfies aren't a plague from a vengeful god, but actually a way for us to connect to each other in a world engulfed in technology.
Even President Obama was caught ripping selfies at a funeral. The flood gates have officially been opened.