New Yorkers Who Take Selfies Are Old and Don’t Tilt Their Heads: Things We Learned from the Selfiecity Project

Selfie-Takers In NYC Are Old and Don’t Tilt Their Heads: Things We Learned from the SelfieCity Project
The selfie’s O.G.

Selfiecity, a project that amassed a whole bunch of data from 3,200 Instagram self-portraits in New York, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Moscow and Bangkok, launched Wednesday morning. The data was then compiled into neat-looking (and interactive!) charts, which you can go play with here. This is what we found out about New Yorkers:

You’re too old for this.
New Yorkers skewed oldest out of the five cities, with a median age of 25.3 (compare that to Bangkok’s 21). Shouldn’t 25-year-olds be busy doing other things, like shopping for their coffins?!?

You’re slightly happier than people in Berlin and Moscow, and more depressed than those in Bangkok and Sao Paolo.
This was measured by how often the subjects smiled in their photos. Doesn’t it feel great knowing you smile somewhat more often than people widely known for their unpleasantness?

You don’t head-tilt that much.
Women tilt their heads in selfies 150% more often than men (12.3 degrees vs. 8.2 degrees, to be exact), but in New York, women only tilt their heads an average of 11 degrees and men 7.6 degrees, which is the least amount of tilt besides Moscow. We feel you: it’s cold outside. No time to tilt.

You’re more likely to look down.
Much like a 12-year-old from 2004’s MySpace default photo, New Yorkers are apt to look down, deep down, upon the elusive Self in their selfies.

New Yorkers: old, sad and boring. Selfiecity: confirming our worst fears about ourself(ies).

For interested folks: the data was compiled using Amazon Mechanical Turk, which, contrary to what it sounds like, is not a scary Internet robot but actual people out in the world being paid pennies to do mindless work online. Read project analyses from an art historian, a feminist theorist and a media studies professor here.


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