Oh you know what is coming, it is the season of goodwill and great cheer, and selfies and hashtags for sure are going to be part of this (#RESISTANCEISFUTILE), and that is fine of course.

In case you have been away from Earth recently a selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or more likely with a camera phone, held in the hand (or supported by one of those weird selfie sticks).  Such pictures are usually shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or some other social networking site.


OK, so back to the here and now. Selfies are fine of course and can be fun, with the appeal coming I guess from how easy they are to create and also to share, not forgetting the control they give self-photographers over how they present themselves – unlike when someone else makes you stand in a pose and say ‘cheese’ or worse, snaps away without you knowing and then proudly shows you the embarrassing results. Normally selfies are intended to be self-flattering or showcasing being with a certain other ‘significant’ person, and I say intended but we all know that ‘in the moment’ (especially when that moment is alcohol fuelled) can lead to some less than flattering outcomes even when you are supposed to be in control.

But why do we do it and what do we expect to get out of the activity?

Starting with the ‘why’ then Everyday Sociology argues that we now use selfies as a way of  projecting our identities onto others, ‘The more pictures you post of yourself promoting a certain identity—buff, sexy, adventurous, studious, funny, daring, lazy (smile) etc. – then the more likely it is that others will endorse this identity of you’. So the selfie can be a way of you demonstrating what sort of person you are, and getting others to agree with you.

And for the ‘what’ then researcher Dr. Owen Churches, from the school of psychology, Flinders University in Adelaide, who has studied the neuroscience of face perception for years states ‘Most of us pay more attention to faces than we do to anything else’ and goes on to say ‘We know experimentally that people respond differently to faces than they do to other object categories’.

So by focusing on the facial image and by projecting the image we want to show then we would hope to get others attention and to gain a positive response back as well as a reinforcement of the image we desire.

But at this time of year why not consider the opportunity of a project management ‘selfie’ that is less the image that we wish to believe we are and more of a chance to consider what we truly represent in the project business world right now and, as a positive result, identify just one aspect that we would aim to improve in the coming year, think of it perhaps as a New Year’s ‘PM’ resolution of improvement, something that will make us all better project managers in 12 months’ time.

So I wish you all the best at this special time of year and why not, along with all of the other festive activities, sneak in a quick #PMSELFIE

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