Student Author(s)

Justine Poe

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Mi Rosie Jahng

Document Type


Event Date



In the past decade, selfies have quickly become a part of North American popular culture. On any given day, Instagram users collectively post upwards of thirty-five million photos with a selfie-related hashtag. Self-preservation theory and uses and gratification theory are utilized to explain this social media phenomenon. Instagram is the main platform for this study because its environment cultivates the largest number of selfies from its users. This study seeks to explain potential effects on self-esteem of the participants of the selfie phenomenon by utilizing the social comparison theory. The main research question addresses whether women are more likely to post selfies to Instagram when their self-esteem is high or low, and if a relationship exists between the number of likes a selfie receives on Instagram and the self-esteem of the subject. The implications of this study could yield significant insight to predicting media behavior in college women and understanding the complexity of the effects such behavior may cause on self-esteem.