Paper in AAAI's ICWSM (2017) "Selfie-Presentation in Everyday Life: A Large-Scale Characterization of Selfie Contexts on Instagram"

Paper

  • J. Deeb-Swihart, C. Polack, Eric Gilbert, and I. Essa (2017), “Selfie-Presentation in Everyday Life: A Large-Scale Characterization of Selfie Contexts on Instagram,” in International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2017. [PDF] [BIBTEX]
    @InProceedings{ 2017-Deeb-Swihart-SELLCSCI,
    author  = {Julia Deeb-Swihart and Christopher Polack and Eric
    Gilbert and Irfan Essa},
    booktitle  = {{International AAAI Conference on Web and Social
    Media (ICWSM)}},
    month = {May},
    organization  = {AAAI},
    pdf = {http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~irfan/p/2017-Deeb-Swihart-SELLCSCI.pdf},
    title = {Selfie-Presentation in Everyday Life: A Large-Scale
    Characterization of Selfie Contexts on Instagram},
    year = {2017}
    }

Abstract

Carefully managing the presentation of self via technology is a core practice on all modern social media platforms. Recently, selfies have emerged as a new, pervasive genre of identity performance. In many ways unique, selfies bring us full circle to Goffman—blending the online and offline selves together. In this paper, we take an empirical, Goffman-inspired look at the phenomenon of selfies. We report a large-scale, mixed-method analysis of the categories in which selfies appear on Instagram—an online community comprising over 400M people. Applying computer vision and network analysis techniques to 2.5M selfies, we present a typology of emergent selfie categories which represent emphasized identity statements. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large-scale, empirical research on selfies. We conclude, contrary to common portrayals in the press, that selfies are really quite ordinary: they project identity signals such as wealth, health and physical attractiveness common to many online media, and to offline life.

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