Virgin Mobile reveals Canadians love thy selfie

Study shows that more than half of Canadians have done the deed

TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - More than half of Canadians do it. Most of them don't like to talk about it. And lots think Kim Kardashian does it way too much. It is of course the "selfie". Once the exclusive domain of the egotistical, the friendless and the unusually long-armed, the selfie has exploded as the go-to photo style for 2013. Oxford Dictionary even hopped on board, making it their word of the year and defining it as "a photograph one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website".1

In celebration of the 'year of the selfie', Virgin Mobile Canada reached out to Canadians who are familiar with the concept, to find out the good, the bad and the ugly about this growing trend. The study, commissioned with Vision Critical, got all scientific to learn exactly why these Canadians do it, how many snaps it takes to make get the 'spontaneous' look, and how everyone really feels about selfie-obsessed celebs.

The results are in, and they're full of surprises. More than half of all Canadians (53 per cent) have done the deed, with 76 per cent of those selfie-loving Canadians specifically in the 18-34 age range. Whether it's front row at a concert, hanging with a BFF in class, or a little solo-action, selfies have struck a chord with Canadian millenials, and become the hottest picture-perfect trend of the year.

"I am not ashamed to admit that I may have taken the odd selfie", said Joseph Ottorino, managing director, Virgin Mobile Canada. "Like many Canadians, I care about instant access, getting the right angle and embodying the YOLO mantra. With our phones attached to us at all times, it makes sense to see people using them to capture moments as they happen."

So why do Canadians take selfies? It's one part nostalgia, one part good sense and a pinch of vanity. Forty-four per cent of Canadians, who have taken a selfie, say they take them to capture a memorable moment; 33 per cent take selfies because they don't have someone else to take the photo and 31 per cent take selfies to share a good photo of themselves. And apparently Canadians have some self-snapping skills, because 55 per cent say they only take between one to three shots before they're satisfied enough with the shot to hit send.

Virgin Mobile Canada sat down with selfie expert Jen Kirsch to identify five sure-fire ways to know if you're a selfie lover:

  1. Selfie Overload: You have been un-friended or had your social feeds blocked on more than one occasion.
  2. Hello, are you there?: When you're out somewhere and focus more on taking photos than everything happening around you.
  3. 'Til death do us part: Your phone is in hand at all times because you can't stand missing a good photo opp.
  4. Selfie by choice: When given the option to have someone take your photo, you decline in favour of the selfie.
  5. Gallery of thy selfie: All of your photo galleries are dominated by selfies.

"Looking at Facebook or Instagram in the last year, it's obvious that there's a growing number of selfies being taken," said Jen Kirsch, selfie expert. "With more photo sharing apps at our disposal, a growing number of scandalous celeb selfies and perhaps an increased desire to show off what you got and who you're with, there has never been a better time to look into selfie habits."

A Few More Selfie Stats:

  • Selfies are gender ambiguous - men (78 per cent) and women (79 per cent) who are familiar with the concept of a selfie photo are equally likely to have taken one
  • 71 per cent of people who take selfies rarely or never share them, 29 per cent do share
  • Men are less likely than women to share their selfie, 75 per cent rarely or never share
  • 67 per cent of people familiar with selfies, don't care about celebrity selfies
  • Canadians want to see Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian take less selfies at 46 per cent , 41 per cent and 40 per cent respectively

Have an amazing selfie you want to share? We want to see it! Share it with Virgin Mobile Canada's FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About the survey

From November 20th to November 21st 2013 an online survey was conducted among 1,009 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists and who are familiar with the concept of a selfie photo. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada.

A second online survey was conducted from November 21st to November 22nd 2013 among 1500 randomly selected nationally representative Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20, and results were weighted in the same way as the first survey. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Virgin Mobile Canada

At Virgin Mobile, you're not a customer, you're a Member and "Members Get" exclusive deals from awesome brands, a shot at VIP access and one-of-a-kind experiences to events in Canada and around the world. That's on top of super-hot smartphones on ridiculously-fast LTE speeds and plans with loads of extras built right in! Virgin Mobile Members and Canadians can do some good in their local communities by helping empower at-risk and homeless youth in Canada with Virgin Mobile's RE*Generation Movement.

Wanna hook up? There are loads of ways, head online or call 1-888-999-2321 to get in the know. Get personal with Virgin Mobile Canada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

1 For the purposes of this survey, a selfie has been defined any photo you have taken of yourself, regardless of the device you used to capture the photo or whether or not you shared it with others.


SOURCE: Virgin Mobile Canada

For further information:

Sheryl Davey, Virgin Mobile Canada

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