The role of Gender and Social Comparison Model in Selfie-Related Behavior

Social media platform like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat has been increasingly getting popular in recent years, and people usually perform selfie-related behavior, including capturing, editing and posting selfie (Stefanone et al, 2018), on the social media platform to share with their virtual audiences. In the Stefanone et al.’s article, “A social cognitive approach to traditional media content and social media use: Selfie-related behavior as competitive strategy”, they tried to show behaviors related to reality television is associated with selfie related behavior on social media platform in terms of competition-based contingencies of self-worth. And gender of the social media’s user, audience diversity and size are also associated with selfie-related behavior. Among all hypothesizes the author proofed, I was particularly interested at the relationship between gender and the selfie-related behaviors and how the behavior can be related to other aspects.

Stefanone et al. proofed with their online survey that females perform composition editing more often and post less selfie than males do. But female have similar frequency of capturing selfie as men do. The authors later mentioned in the discussion that females show the tendency to care more about their self-presentation on the social media and that is a mirroring of the value system which focusing on “the importance of female image and appearance” that still exist nowadays (Stefanone et al., 2018).. What controversial is the way they mentioned how this value system still exists surprised them, “given the resource devoted to promoting interest in science, technology, engineering, and math among young women in the United States” (Stefanone et al., 2018). I argue the reason they give does not make sense at all, because there is no relationship between how much science subjects the females are studying and how they are mindful about their self-presentation on the internet. This value system exists because women naturally care about their self-image, what they study is not supposed to change their how they behave on the social media.

And this article can also be related to Garcias et al.’s article in terms of the social comparison model. Except explaining the relationship between reality television and selfie-related behavior like Stefanone et al. did, we can also refer to Garcia et al.’s social comparison model to look at individual’s selfie-related behavior on social media. Individuals may compete with each other for more attention because of the individual factors like the similarity of their identity as a user of social media, and situational factors like the number of competitors/users on the social media. The situational factor can be proofed with the fact that larger audience size of an individual is equal to higher chance of editing their selfies.

According to @spidermmman post, it was suggested that the game may not be competitive from the very beginning. But according to an online secondary resource, the first game ever found in the history is a set of chess in Turkey and there must be a loser in a game of chess. In another word, the first game in history is already competitive given its nature as a zero-sum game.

To conclude, the reason Stefonone et al. gave for the existence of the value system which women are focusing on their image and appearance does not make sense. And the selfie-related behavior can be connected with Garcia et al.’s social comparison model as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for your insight! As the experiment in Stefanone et al.’s article suggests that, while women may not post as many selfies as men do, and they perform significantly more composition editing, would you say that women do so because the societal beauty standards and expectations for women are significantly higher than those for men? In taking, editing, and posting a selfie on a social platform, women are programmed to compare themselves not only to other competitors within the social platform, but to past versions of themselves, to the other females around them, and to the beauty and body standards set by society. I would also argue that criticism towards women on social platforms is significantly higher than criticism towards men, and that if the expectations are not met to certain standard, women face “acceptable” backlash from the online community.


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