Despite the fact that selfies are not a new phenomenon, there is still a need for academic research into their relationships with different social and personal data. In recent years, selfies have been related to recording all facets of everyday life (e.g., personal relationship circumstances and private conditions), as well as some spectacular accidents (e.g., Al-Hag in the Islamic religion). As well as a few major mishaps around the world, selfie concepts (self-esteem and body image perception) and behaviors (selfie habits and patterns, the motives for using the selfie, and attitude about selfie) among Egyptian and Saudi nursing students were important to investigate.
In terms of the Saudi research sample’s personal characteristics, results revealed that the majority of Saudi students were in the age ranged 20-22 years. This result might be attributed to the fact that rapid advancements in digital imaging and mobile technology have ushered in a new era of photography for this community of Saudis. The present study finding was consistent with a previous study conducted in Northampton, and found that young women (18 to 29 years old) use Instagram to post selfies in order to gain “likes,” and that the quality of a selfie is determined by lighting .
In addition, young individuals (18-34 years old) are more interested in the selfie trend than older people (35 years old and above). The explanation given was that teenagers and people between the ages of 18 and 34 use digital media more than older people .
The findings of this study analysis revealed that Egyptian females were more than Saudi females in the study sample. This result indicates that the majority of Egyptian females have a sense of duty, intelligence, and life experience, which leads to a desire and willingness to participate in the research. This study finding match those of the study conducted in KSA, which reported that over the course of 3 months, a total of 653 participants who met the inclusion requirements completed the online questionnaire, with 164 (25.1%) men and 489 (74.9%) women . Consistent with the previous findings, several study results found that female participants are thought to take 1.3 times more selfies than male participants .
In responding to the first research question, as regards selfie habits and patterns, Egyptian students were higher in number of selfie taken per day more than Saudi students. This finding might be explained by the fact that people can find the amount of selfies they take and share on a social networking outlet that best fits their desires and allows them to gain gratification.
This finding might be attributed to that the individuals will find the number of selfies taken and posted on a social networking outlet that best fits their desires and allows them to gain gratification. In a similar study, the association between self-esteem and the people who take more selfies at Middle Tennessee State University was investigated, and discovered that persons with lower self-esteem likely to take more selfies than those with higher self-esteem. However, persons with high self-esteem shared the most selfies, according to the findings .
Also, the current study result found a statistically significant difference between Saudi and Egyptian nursing students as regards prefer to take their selfies with friends; however, this finding contradicted with previous study found that a total of 2071 British men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 took part in the survey. According to the data, 39% of the individuals preferred to photograph themselves rather than their family, partner, or pets. According to their physical attributes, the individuals had low self-esteem and reported to “prudish inhibition and concerns regarding their physical qualities” .
Also, the findings of this study revealed that the majority of Saudis group compared to three-fifths of Egyptians, preferred to post selfies on Instagram, with a statistically significant difference. With 187 million users, this result indicates that Snapchat, an app that allows users to send messages as well as take and share videos and images, is becoming increasingly popular.
In line with this study findings, previous research found that Instagram was a common social network site with about 600 million users and millions of selfie photos posted daily . On the other hand, according to the Pew Center’s 2014-2015 survey, 71% of teens said they use Facebook on a regular basis. Furthermore, there was no other website that a great majority of teenagers used at the time, with around half (52%) using Instagram and 41% using Snapchat . Without a doubt, the data shows that how teenagers use social media is evolving, and it is critical that people are aware of the potential consequences of various channels.
As regards the motives of using selfies, the current study result showed that Egyptian nurse students are having a higher prevalence of subjective desire as a reason for sharing selfies on social media than Saudi nurse students and there was statistically significant difference between the two groups. This could be because the participants shared selfies since getting likes made them feel better. On the contrary, other study found that uploading selfies was amusing in a study conducted at Middle Tennessee State University (15%). It is possible that the participants require some form of media to reduce their stress . Also, a research of a Saudi population found that using social networking sites (SNS) improved users’ social skills and elevated their self-esteem .
Furthermore, some people have discovered that posting selfies on social media relieves their stress and thereby entertains them . As well, the use of social media use is a possible cause for appearance pressures and, as a result, appearance-altering practices such as cosmetic surgery .
In the present study, reasons for taking selfies were significantly higher in Saudi nursing students than in Egyptian students regarding depression and sadness. The study found that the more time users spent on social media and the more time they spent managing impressions, the more likely they were to develop clinical depressive symptoms. In line with this current study finding, literature suggests a significant relationship between social media use and mental health at Bryant University . According to earlier research in which the association between social media use and depression was investigated, depression is one of the most common side effects of long-term social media use. This link demonstrates the negative effects that long-term social media use can have on users’ mental health .
As regards the attitudes of studied nurse students about the selfie, the current study result found that majority of studied Egyptian nurses think that selfie is normal for them if it is frequently depicted in front of people compared with more than half of Saudi students. Studied student nurses from Egyptian and Saudi groups see some people photographing themselves in places for gaining fame with a slightly increasing percent in Egyptian more than Saudi group.
More than half of Saudi students compared with more than two-fifth of Egyptians in their opinions, they see a person who was trying to prove himself through the selfie is someone who likes to impose himself. Majority of studied students in the two groups see that the phenomenon of selfie had become an addiction for some people. According to the opinion of Egyptian nurse students, near half of them see selfie style is so prevalent today because it was fashionable times, however, in Saudi group more than one-third of them see selfie as usual. The difference was statistically significant between the two groups.
These study results agreed with previous study found that students may view selfies as pointless, awkward, and uncool; further, they believe it is an attention-seeking activity . However, this finding contradicts a study published in Egypt, which found that male students have more negative attitudes regarding selfies .
In relation to students’ self-esteem, the current study result revealed that more than half of studied Egyptian nursing students were good in the level of self-esteem compared with more than one-third of Saudi group. The difference between two groups was statistically significant. More than half of studied Egyptian nursing students were positive in body image perception; however, in Saudi group, they were negative in perception of their body image. The difference was not statistically significant. These results answered the second research question.
The current study results contradict with those of the study conducted in Egypt who found that 21.4 of studied girls in preparatory schools in Zagazig City were not accepting their body image, while 33.7% of them had low self-esteem . Additionally, other research conducted in Brazil found that more than two-thirds of studied students were not accepting their own body image .
As regards relationship between the number of selfie-taking and gender, the current study finding revealed that a statistically significant difference was detected between gender in both Egyptian and Saudi groups with increasing taking selfie among Egyptian females and Saudi males. This result might be due to culture difference between the two groups. Traditional Saudi norms and standards regard women’s visibility as harmful, and tacitly reject their self-presentation through photographs and videos. This finding contradicts the findings of a previous study which found that women snap more selfies than men . As well, a previous research also found that women took 1.3 times more selfies than men . On the contrary, a recent study found that age and gender are irrelevant when it comes to selfies .
Considering relationship between sharing selfie on social media and gender, the current result study revealed that a statistically significant difference was detected between genders in both Egyptian and Saudi groups with increasing sharing selfie on social media among males. This might be because men have been observed to be more intrepid and daring in their social presentation and expression across cultures and academic studies. These study findings are consistent with those conducted in Egypt found that males are more likely than females to post selfie photos on social media .
Similarly, it was found that in the undergraduate group, more girls were dissatisfied than guys. At the same time, postgraduate males scored much higher in body image acceptance than undergraduate males. People who were more satisfied with their body image posted more confident selfies to Instagram, according to their research .
However, these findings contradicted those who investigated selfie posting behaviors in relation to gender and found that female subjects had higher mean scores for posting selfie images than men in their study. Furthermore, in 2014, selfiecity, a project financed by The Graduate Center at City University of New York, evaluated the types of selfie in five cities around the world, concluding that women were more likely than men to share selfie images .
The current study result revealed no relationship detected between self-esteem and body image of the studied nurse students in Egyptian and Saudi groups and number of selfie-taking and posting selfie on social media. This answers the third and fourth research questions. One possible explanation for the lack of a significant difference is that persons with high self-esteem posted about the same amount of selfies as persons with low self-esteem. According to previous research, persons with low self-esteem may be just as eager to publish selfies on social media sites as those with greater self-esteem since it provides an alternative to in-person self-disclosure in a secure, controlled context . In the same vein, a study conducted in Ireland and Hong Kong stated that self-esteem had no significant relationship with selfie frequency . Another research also discovered no link between selfitis and self-esteem in Indian medicine and nursing students .
In contrast to the current study’s findings, one study conducted in Tennessee showed that persons with low self-esteem took the fewest selfies, while those with high self-esteem took the most . In a similar study, the researcher explained the reduction in selfies by claiming that individuals did not appreciate seeing images of themselves with less-than-attractive bodies on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . Another reason for the drop in selfies could be their poor self-confidence, which was discovered in a study titled “Selfies and their Psychological and Mental Effects” . Several prior studies in this field have found that using selfies enhances one’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and popularity [44, 45]. As well, a more recent research found that the selfie habit of the students can boost their self-esteem .