As a group, Instagrammers are a pretty self-absorbed bunch.
Those of us who use Instagram everyday like to think of it in glowing terms. Not only is it a rapidly-growing social media success story, but it's a place where we can go to see gorgeous, often creatively composed imagery. Our friends are there, documenting their world for us and reliably tapping the Like button every time we share our own photos. It's awesome.
That is, until you take a step back and look around
As it turns out, Instagram is a breeding ground for many people's most narcissistic tendencies. It's a reality that comes into sharp focus as soon as you step outside of your circle of friends and look at what everybody else is posting. Turns out that as a group, Instagrammers are a pretty self-absorbed bunch.
Sure, you might say, we knew this. Mirror-shot, pouty-faced self portraits of teenagers find their way to the "Popular" (now called "Explore") tab as often as sunsets, celebs and food pics. But Instagram narcissism is more than a stereotype. There's actually data to back it up.
90 Million Selfies... And Counting
Consider this: The third most frequently used hashtag on Instagram is #me. Under it, you'll find more than 90 million self-portraits taken primarily by younger users, very few of them with any irony, or even much creativity.
Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with publishing self portraits. After all, your appearance is very significant part of the life you're documenting using social services like Instagram. Taken tastefully and periodically, the "selfie" can add personality and context to your never-ending streams of lattes, power lines, cats and skylines. And sure, just like in the real world, our brains love the ego boost we get from the compliments.
Scrolling through the #me photos, you see images of varying quality, all displaying faces of different people. In a way, it's kind of fascinating to