This paper analyzes popular visual practices of the self-presentation in the visual content of social media in nowadays Russia. Our key question was to understand wide spreading and specificity of social practice of selfie. Using the iconographic method (E. Panofsky), we study visual content of selfie aiming to reveal the hidden rules of their reproduction. The results of an empirical study of random sample of 200 pictures are the following. First of all, selfie and similar visual practices are a means of gaining social approval and support. In order to provide the scientific view on the fascination with such practices the ways of information spreading as well as obtaining social support and approval must be taken into consideration. Secondly, in making selfie, the traditional function of photos such as preservation of memories of oneself at certain moment or memories of social circles together with situations is no longer important. Moreover, identification function of a picture is of fundamental importance, namely, obtaining social approval for the external qualities, imagination, compliance with standards of living, which are considered to be valuable and correct (for instance, geographic mobility, availability of exclusive places and things, originality).

Published in: International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2016)

  • Date of Conference: 10-13 October 2016
  • DOI: 10.2053/iSociety.2016.0023
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-62-9
  • Conference Location: Dublin, Ireland