Young consumers in the digital era: The selfie effect


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This article investigates a mechanism named the selfie effect. By their frequent sharing of selfies on social media, perhaps displaying their cool new fashions or newly acquired tattoos, young people—unintentionally—help providers to promote their products and services, and thereby contribute to the commercial pressure. The existence of a selfie effect builds on hypotheses originating from a pilot interview study concerning how young adults master the consumer role. In this article, the existence of a selfie effect is investigated in a nationally representative web survey with 1,707 respondents aged 16–60, living in Norway. While 59% of the teenagers said they were posting selfies weekly or more often, only 2% among those in their fifties did. The multivariate quantitative analyses support the idea that teenagers and young adults, frequently online, become vulnerable in the consumer role. Particularly posting selfies and following bloggers increase consumer detriment and overconsumption.




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