Goffman Selfie Analysis

1310 Words 6 Pages
#SELFIE and Impression Management The phrase “let me take a selfie” has undoubtedly been heard by most and spoken by many. While the concept of the selfie is not a new one –Robert Cornelius is often credited with taking the first known selfie in 1839 –the social phenomenon of taking and posting selfies rose rapidly in the 21st century (Specktor). With the invention of camera phones and emergence of social media, the selfie became a standard method of photography and an image many people have obsessed over. Taking selfies has become so significant in society, that the Chainsmokers decided to address the subject in their song #SELFIE. Both the lyrics and the music video explore the importance society places on a picture of themselves and address …show more content…
The video opens with two girls discussing various happenings at the club they are in and pausing to take a selfie before returning to the party. After taking her selfie, one of the girls asks her friend to “help me pick a filter” and mentions that she “wants to look tan.” With these seemingly simple actions, the subject is altering how she depicts herself to the work, she is managing her image –literally and figuratively –in hopes of depicting herself a certain way to her audience. The song goes on to mention that the selfie “only got 10 likes in the last 5 minutes” and the subject debates taking it down and taking a new selfie. This again can be tied back to impression management; she is concerned that people did not perceive her selfie the way she hoped they would and wants to take another in order to gain more approval, or “likes,” from her viewers. Finally, she refers to a girl she considers a “fake model” that “bought all her Instagram followers.” Anyone who spends time on Instagram has likely come across these so called “Instagram models” or individuals who have carefully selected the images, selfies included, they post in order to be perceived the way they wish. Some of these individuals are accused, and may be guilty, of falsely gaining followers in order to appear more popular or interesting and thus boost their …show more content…
In 1959, Erving Goffman explored a theory he called dramaturgy, in which he considered a person to be “like an actor on a stage (Keirns et al).” As actors, we participate in roles that a dependent on our setting and audience. On social media platforms, users become like actors as well. A quick scroll through Facebook, for example, will reveal that most people choose to share only the positive aspects of their lives; they “present [themselves] to others as [they] hope to be perceived (Keirns et al).” My Facebook newsfeed, for example, is often flooded with check-ins to popular attractions, travel photos, endearing stories and, yes, even selfies. In all of these cases, the individual posting made a conscious effort to select photos or words that impacted how their audience would interpret their posts and thus make inferences about their lives. When only a select portion of someone’s life is shared on social media, they can manage the impression they give to viewers. A married couple, for example, is likely to only share cute photos or moments with their significant other while keeping the evidence of hardships –aka reality –out of the public spotlight. In doing so they have depicted their relationship as pure happiness on the front stage while keeping the struggles of

Related Documents