Gender and Behaviour

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The selfie culture: Identity creation and status conferral on social media

Ndivhoniswani Aaron Tshidzumba


Selfie has generated sustained attraction both from selfie takers and researchers. Numerous researches have studied selfie and selfie takers from different dimensions but majority focused on how personality of individuals influence the kind of selfies they take and share on social media. However, few have explored selfie induced social media identity creation and status conferral. This study qualitatively explores how young female Nigerian adults conjunctively use selfie with rhetoric to create identity on Facebook and status consequent upon the identity, the aim being to determine if their selfie induced social media identity and status is mere performance or reality. The researcher’s previous observation of and interaction with avid selfie takers substantially formed initial background knowledge for the study. Five young female Nigerians were thereafter selected from researcher’s Facebook friends and two recent selfies of each participant were studied using nethnography; finally, each participant was interviewed through Facebook Messenger and results of both nethnographic study and interview were coded thematically. The study found that selfie induced social media identity and status of the participants was more performance but also reflected some aspects of their reality.

Key words: selfie, social media, identity, status.

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