Take too many selfies? Or someone thinks you do?
Then you may have ‘selfitis’, and psychologists say it’s a real mental condition.
The term was first used in 2014 to describe obsessive selfie taking in a spoof news story.
Since then, researchers in India investigated whether there was any truth to the condition.
They’ve also developed a ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ to determine the severity of each case.
The scale has 20 statements to determine the condition’s severity by rating how much the taker agreed with the sentiment:
- Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment.
- Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues.
- I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media.
- I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies.
- I feel confident when I take a selfie.
- I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfie and share it on social media.
- I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies.
- Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status.
- I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media.
- Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy.
- I become more positive about myself when I take selfies.
- I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings.
- Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience.
- I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media.
- By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me.
- Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood.
- I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence.
- When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group.
- I take selfies as trophies for future memories.
- I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others.
The scale was used to survey 400 people in India because the country has the most Facebook users and highest number of deaths resulting from taking selfies in dangerous places.
The findings, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, confirmed three levels of “selfitis”:
- Borderline cases involve people who take selfies at least three times a day, but do not post them on social media.
- Next is the ‘acute’ phase where the pictures are posted.
- The ‘chronic’ stage involve people who feel an uncontrollable urge to take photos of themselves around the clock, posting them more than six times a day.
Researchers found that typical ‘selfitis’ sufferers were attention seekers, lacking self confidence, and those hoping to boost their social standing and feel part of a group by constantly posting images of themselves.
© 2017 WTSP-TV