Victoria named the Canadian capital of selfies

Victorians like to brag about our weather and picturesque coastline, but are we the most selfie-obsessed in the country? Are we more likely to shamelessly aim our camera phones at ourselves than Ellen DeGeneres did at the Oscars?

An interactive map by Time magazine, called the Selfiest Cities in the World, pegged those living in B.C.’s capital as Canada’s most persistent purveyors of the amateur self-portrait.

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Victoria had 35 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, during the data collection period, compared to Canada’s second selfiest city, Edmonton, with 31 per 100,000. Victoria and Edmonton were the only Canadian cities listed in the magazine’s top 100, ranking 81st and 98th, respectively.

Victoria social media guru Mat Wright said residents here like to strut with the slightly smug, slightly braggy “I’m out here with the cherry blossoms, walking my dog on the beach” selfie. “We want to show off to our friends and people around us that we have a certain lifestyle,” he said.

Wright said it’s not just young people caught in the fever of the pouty-lipped selfie. Adults do it, too. And it’s likely contagious. “It sort of feeds upon itself. You see your friend doing it on Facebook or Twitter and you think, ‘I’ve gotta keep up.’ ”

Time produced an interactive map based on more than 400,000 Instagram photos with the hashtag #selfie and used geo-location tags to where they were taken. The data was collected in two sets, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 2 and March 3 to 7. The magazine ranked 459 cities, including eight in Canada.

However, the survey does not take into account selfies taken without geographic co-ordinates or photos without the hashtag #selfie, so the authors acknowledge it captures only a fraction of selfies out there.

The survey’s selfiest city in the world was Makati City in the Philippines, which had 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, followed by Manhattan with 202 and Miami with 155.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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