CLICK - IMAGE of David Cameron, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Barack Obama and Jenna Marbles. It is all about me - Selfie (noun) - a photographic self-portrait taken with a handheld gadget - a trend?

Daniel Cable: Searching for true love has much in common with hiring an ideal employee.
Zoella – Love and house hunting: A systematic approach helps, but…
Jenna Marbles, Barack Obama, David Cameron AND Helle Thorning-Schmidt – Findings: Acting the way you were ‘born to act’ is what activates your best self.

We address three questions

1. Are we really what we are doing right now?
2. Relfies help improve – relationships, organization culture?
3. Do metrics help us choose a better partner, house or have a better relationship?

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1. You are what you are doing – right now

Of course, we all know selfies – a photographic self-portrait taken with a handheld gadget. When Apple launched the iPhone 4 in 2010, it included a front-facing camera lens, useful for video-calling apps such as FaceTime or Skype, and these days, Google hangouts. The front-facing lens also made it supremely easy to take those selfies.

Thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, we are all semi-celebrities now. Surely, a selfie is somewhat narcissistic, part of the ‘love-me’ phenomenon (see above).

Some have suggested it is also about digital existential angst. Other times I wonder if it does anything good?

Nevertheless, I doubt that most of us are really the person we portray in some of these relfies – see Jenna Marbles’ video below. It is all about show biz, a flash in the pan maybe…

We all broadcast, but who wants to listen or view these Instagram snapshots?

2. Relfies organizations and relationships

While with a selfie it is all about you, a relfie is all about your relationship with your partner, lover, employer, and so forth.

Relfies have become increasingly popular if Facebook profiles or Twitter accounts are anything to go by. Learn more about why relfies are important below (click image for more information).

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CLICK image - Relfies are the new rage - how to improve the quality of your relationships. Now that you know what makes a relfie distinct from a selfie, here are eight scientific reasons why relfies are important for your relationships. 1. Couples who relfie together stay together. Couples who have more of a 'we' identity (i.e., high inclusion of other in the self) tend to have higher relationship satisfaction, intimacy, and commitment. 2. When others see your relfie, they see you as having a BETTER romantic relationship. No relfie? People might perceive less of a connection between you and your partner. 3. Do you have a hot partner? Then being in a relfie with them will make you look more attractive. After all, if you’re with an attractive partner, you must be doing something right. 4. People take relfies when they are happy and having fun. Emphasizing the good times in relationships benefits them by increasing emotional intimacy, trust, and satisfaction. 5. Taking a relfie with a group of your friends? That’ll make you appear more attractive as well, thanks to the 'Cheerleader Effect'. 6. Couples who feel closer to each other are more likely to display things (i.e., items in their house, or perhaps relfies on Twitter) that let the world know they are a couple. 7. Did you and your partner do something new, interesting, and/or challenging? Not only is that a prime relfie opportunity (think skydiving, surfing lessons, trying a new restaurant), but research shows that these types of experiences help you grow as a person and improve the quality of your relationships. 8. Finally, although we’ve focused mostly on relfies that involve romantic partners, let’s not forget about those relfies that highlight other key aspects of your self-identity, including relfies involving friends and family members. Broadly speaking, our personal relationships are critical features of our existence, and the more connections we perceive we have with other people, the longer we live and love.

As researchers have shown, relfies help relationships (see above). But before we can take a relfie, we need to find the partner or organization with whom we are a good match. Whom do we want to fall in love with or work for?

Interesting read: Aron, A., Aron, E. N., Tudor, M., & Nelson, G. (1991). Close relationships as including other in the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(2), 241-253. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.60.2.241. Retrieved, July 11, 2014 from

Researchers look at relfies as an indication with your connection with your partner, also termed ‘inclusion of other in the self’. This occurs when partners blend their identities or sense of who they are and merge with each other.

Both the search for true love or a great employer represent a process of evaluation. Nonetheless, eventually we have to decide. ‘Yes’ means we fall in love or take the offered job. ‘No’ means we continue searching. Same with real estate – you may want this house in Brentwood (Los Angeles), but can you afford it? It’s that simple.

Based on research, Daniel Cable and colleagues suggest that it helps to adopt a methodical approach for finding the best match. This means it is wise to ask searching questions, such as:

1. Who  are you when you are at your true best?
2. How are your, and your company or partner’s, values alike (it helps if you think about how well you fit together)?

Cable and colleagues’ research within an organization showed that point 1 was critical. It even helped cut turnover in half (i.e. employees stayed 8 to 10 months instead of 4 months). Moreover, customer satisfaction also increased significantly.

Incidentally, the first month of employement is critically important – you set the plaster (see video).


Very interesting read: Cable, Daniel, M.; Gino, Francesco; and Staats, Bradley, R. (March 2013). Breaking them in or eliciting their best? Reframing socialization around newcomers’ authentic self-expression. Adminstrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 58(1), 1-36 DOI: 10.1177/0001839213477098. Retrieved, May 27, 2014 from

Easier summary article: Cable, Daniel, M.; Gino, Francesco; and Staats, Bradley, R. (March 2013). Reinventing Employee Onboarding. MIT Sloan Management Review, Retrieved, May 28, 2014 from (free login required).

CLICK - The turnover rate in the control group was 47.2 percent higher than that of the individual identity group, and 16.2 percent higher than that of the organizational identity group. And turnover was 26.7 percent higher in the organizational identity condition than in the individual identity condition.

Cable, Gino and Stats’ study also revealed that the turnover rate in the control group was 47.2 percent higher than that of the individual identity group. It was again 16.2 percent higher than that of the organizational identity group. Plus, turnover was 26.7 percent higher in the organizational identity condition than in the individual identity condition. These data indicate that the individual identity group’s approach to onboarding reduced turnover significantly.

3. Humility versus narcissism

As the above shows, it is important that the socialization process is set up correctly in any organization. Not only does this increase job satisfaction, but it also increases productivity and reduces turnover. Hence, an employee’s onboarding experience ultimately makes a difference to the organization’s bottom line.

When we are in love, sharing a flat also means that we have to get used to each other. It is a kind of onboarding each other. Living together is not easy; a lot can go wrong early on. Nevertheless, a person’s humility can help ease the process of getting used to sharing a living space with someone else. It even helps with fitting in at a new workplace.

Emerson Davis Jr. and Hook (October 2013) pointed out that humility has two dimensions.

1. It involves an accurate view of the self, for example, who we are and not who we wish to be (e.g., cool and collected).
2. On an interpersonal level, the construct involves a stance that is other-oriented and not self-focused.

Emerson Davis Jr. and Hook also proposed the ‘social bonds hypothesis’, which suggests that humility promotes social bonds and a sense of ‘we-ness’ in close relationships. In turn, partners or team members enjoy sacrificing for fellow partners or team members.

But exploitation must be avoided. Therefore, viewing others as humble should facilitate greater commitment. The social bonds hypothesis suggests that viewing others as egotistical and selfish (i.e. the selfie or love-me crowd) should decrease commitment.

The researchers have found early evidence of this occurrance by studying romantic couples, forming groups, and clients in therapy.

Interesting read: Emerson Davis Jr., Don, and Hook, Joshua N. (October, 2013). Measuring humility and its positive effects. Observer, Vol.26, No.8. Retrieved, July 12, 2014 from

Those less humble than others tend to see the world a little differently:

– they rate their leadership skills as above average;
– score lower on measures of empathy;
– embrace life goals centering on money, fame, and image (remember the folks cast in reality shows);
– set unrealistically high goals; and
– report higher levels of self-esteem (maybe a bit cocky or too confident).

VERY interesting READ: Keith, Campbell, and Twenge, Jean M. (December 2013). Narcissism unleashed. Observer Vol.26, No.10.  Retrieved, July 12, 2014 from

The authors suggest that narcissists have a tendency to focus on the self. What further exacerbates the problem is the trend to ‘show off’. The latter is increasingly becoming a social norm for some groups of people. Jenna Marbles is a great example of this endemic narcisissm, successful because of the exhbitionism below.

She is a do-it-yourself (DIY) digital entertainer who conceives of, stars in, shoots, edits and uploads her own videos. These days, 27-year-old Jenna Marbles is famous for her ‘hauler’ videos about fashion, make-up equipment, and so forth. And yes, she hauls in a six-figure annual income. Nevertheless, Jenna Marbles describes herself as lonely, often staying home with her two pets (read this New York Times article).


Watch more here: DrKPI videos – measure for impact – social media – corporate blog

Another phenomenon of this genre is Zoella from the UK – will she go to Hollywood soon? She has more than 4 mio subscribers on her YouTube channel alone.  Her ‘hauler’ videos about fashion, make-up equipment, physical exercise and so forth are funny. Also, she talks very fast. Here is a vide she made 6 days ago. Yes it already has more than 1 mio views – by the way – what you think?


Incidentally, sometimes fashion bloggers appear to be a bit self-centered. What you think?

Bottom line metrics

This allows us to draw several conclusions:

  1. Yes, we can measure how relfies affect interpersonal relationships => they help improve them!
  2. Using personal-identity socialization for onboarding improves a person’s organizational fit.
  3. Keeping one’s narcissism in check while showing some humility towards others helps you make friends and find love.

In an age where we are all semi-celebrities, staying down-to-earth and showing a certain degree of humility still matters. What do you think?

Source: Searching for love? Metrics can help

Do you feel social media has accelerated our trend of increasing narcissism?
How have you experienced someone’s humbleness recently?
What recent world event gained media attention that showcased conspicuous humility on a societal level?

Thanks again for sharing your insights – I always appreciate your very helpful feedback.

Urs E. Gattiker, Ph.D. - CyTRAP Labs - ComMetrics.

Hooray – you read the whole post by author Urs E. Gattiker – aka DrKPI! Want to hang out more? Check out the news updates on Twitter, join our Social Media Monitoring discussion group on Xing, chat with us on Google+, and receive fortnightly updates and behind-the-scenes scoops through our newsletter.

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Extra Tidbit: Need to do an audit? Get Social Media Audit: Measure for Impact (Springer Science Publishers).

1 reply
  1. Urs E. Gattiker
    Urs E. Gattiker says:

    Just this morning I saw this great article about Vlogger Zoella – How to become a social media star.
    LUNCH WITH THE FT July 18, 2014
    By Jonathan FordAuthor alerts

    Very interesting how these things happen I wrote a comment and I re-publish it here this morning:
    “Dear Jonathan

    When I get the FT this morning, I read this article first – professional interest. Very interesting Reading it made me smile, wonder and frown. I think this piece describes a trend others have described as “narcisissm unleashed?”

    You are what you are doing right now – selfies

    Now come relfies
    And Zoella shows Humility mixed with narcicism? Where are we heading…?
    Of course, a book deal was made – we get to see the result this fall (interesting?)
    Hollywood calling?

    Nevertheless, Zoella’s blog is a success. It ranks third when we look at the ===>===== DrKPI Fashion Index

    This result is primarily due to the fact that she hits a nerve with her audience. Her readers engage with her content. Although Zoella does not herself engage in the conversation. In other words, she does not reply to comments and so forth.

    While she uses social media, she uses old type broadcasting to reach her viewers, readers and / or fans. Little if any is social. She sends, we consume. But she is not haaving a dialogue with her readers or viewers. Of course, with so many fans. As we know, social media is simply not scalable…. if she had to reply to all this feedback she would not have had time to have lunch with you. :-)

    Moreover, as this article points out, she is not the only one in this genre – Jenna Marbles claim to fame was her make-up video she made in her bathroom – drunk? ====>Jenna Marbles and employer onboarding – does it work?

    Thanks for sharing your lunch experience. Very revealing and interesting

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