By Maria Yagoda
Updated May 24, 2016 02:20 PM
Credit: Source: Nicki Minaj Instagram

Selfies are one of the most important forms of art in modern-day culture. Even people who say they hate selfies secretly take them when they’re alone in bed on a Friday night, all dressed up but nowhere to go.

Did you know that selfies have been the subject of several scientific studies? Here are 6 facts you should know before you snap your next one.

1. Your selfie is less attractive than you think but that’s ok!!

A new study from the University of Toronto found that subjects thought much, much more highly of their selfies – in terms of attractiveness and likability – than the public did.

“Selfie-takers generally overperceived the positive attributes purveyed by their selfies,” the researchers said. “Here, we found that selfie-takers believed their selfies to look more attractive and likable than photos of them taken by other people. In reality, though, external raters actually perceived the targets’ selfies to look less attractive and less likable than the photos taken by others (as well as more narcissistic).”

BUT. Don’t let this stop you from taking selfies if they make you happy. And we know they do.

2. Normal, Slumber and Skyline are the Instagram filters that get the most likes on selfies.

The study from Canva also found that Skyline, Normal and Helena get the most likes on food photos, if you’re into that sort of thing.

3. Regularly posting selfies can lead to a decrease in followers.

(But you probably already knew this.)

4. People who post a lot of selfies tend to have low self-esteem.

Results also showed that narcissism and self-objectification were associated with spending more time on social networking sites (and editing photos.)

5. People who take more selfies tend to be more alienated from their friends and family and report feeling less supported in their relationships.

The 2013 study couldn’t prove that this was *because* of selfies, but it also didn’t not prove that. We suspect that people more likely to take selfies are reaching out for support and attention.

6. Selfies facilitate self-exploration!

“One of the most effective ways to know yourself is to see yourself as others see you. Selfies offer the opportunities to show facets of yourself, such as the arty side, the silly side or the glamorous side,” Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today. “We learn about people by accumulating information over time. Our understanding of everything, include other people, is a synthesis of all the things we know about them. By offering different aspects through images, we are sharing more of ourselves, becoming more authentic and transparent – things that digital connectivity encourages.”