Top 5 Reasons People Take #SickieSelfies Include Hangovers

Posted on November 3rd, 2014
Posted in Articles

Top-5-Reasons-People-Take-SickieSelfies-Include-HangoversBy Nancy Wride

One in five people post “sickie selfies” – photos of themselves ill – and the No. 1 reason is to display their hangover misery, according to a new survey on the motivation behind social media sharing.

As part of the explosion of self portraits on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, there are naturally subcategories and genres of these selfies one can find with a quick search by the Twitter hashtag #sickieselfies, as well as on Google Images.

But this may be among the first stabs at quantifying the motivation behind the posting of photos that, let’s face it, are not flattering.

The Web coupon site vouchercloud.com said it polled by e-mail 2,328 Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 over seven days. The group was evenly divided by gender and registered to an opt-in database. The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Merrill first reported the results – submitted in a news release by vouchercloud – and other media around the U.S. soon followed.

“ ‘Showing off a hangover’ and ‘to prove illness to friends or co-workers’ emerged as the most common reasons for uploading a ‘sickie selfie,’ ” the team at vouchercloud reported.

Participants disclosed to researchers prior to the study that they owned a smartphone with a camera and had active social media accounts.

Sending Proof to the Boss

Nearly one in five people, or 19 percent of sick-selfie respondents, confessed that they had posted photos of themselves in order to prove to bosses or friends that they were under the weather. Forty one percent stated that they had taken the “selfies” while at home and another 22 percent reported that they had photographed themselves from a hospital bed.

Here are the top five reasons survey participants photographed themselves in a “sickie selfie:”

  • To show the effects of a hangover – 33 percent.
  • To prove to friends or coworkers they were unwell – 26 percent.
  • To draw sympathy and support from friends and loved ones – 15 percent.
  • To gain attention from friends or followers – 9 percent.
  • To raise money or awareness for charity – 8 percent.

Additionally, 1,115 people, nearly half the sick-selfie respondents, confessed that they had also posted images in which they were faking their sickness, the survey team reported.

Vouchercloud representatives at its U.K. offices were not available Friday for comment. But vouchercloud’s Matthew Wood told the Arizona Republic that the results were not entirely surprising.

“It is all too easy nowadays to upload an image to our social media accounts in order to update our loved ones on what we’re up to and how we are feeling,” Wood told the paper.

“So with the current popularity of selfies, it makes some sense that we would want to share even the most personal and potentially unflattering moments of our lives, particularly if it’s for a good cause such as raising money for a related charity.”

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