Today's digital cameras and smartphones have made it easier and easier to take a photograph of yourself (otherwise known as a selfie) and social media allows you to readily share these selfies with literally everyone. While taking selfies has become commonplace, we all know at least one person who seems to take and share far too many selfies, even to the point where it gets annoying. If you don't know someone like that, then that person may be you!
But how many selfies is too many? Three selfies a day? Four? Six thousand two hundred and seventy-two? Back in March 2014, an article on the Adobo Chronicles website claimed that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had established "selfitis" as a new mental disorder: "the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy." The article also indicated that the APA had established three levels of selfitis:
· Borderline selfitis: "taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media"
· Acute selfitis: "taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media"
· Chronic selfitis: "uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day"
The article was “fake news” and a bit funny but it does get you thinking.
A real recent study was done about those who take a lot of selfies and the below chart makes one think a bit. So do you fit into any of these categories? Are you getting selftis?
Factors Driving Selfie Taking
Feelings When Taking Selfies
· Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment
· I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies
· Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience
· I take selfies as trophies for future memories
· Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues
· Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status
· I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media
· I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others
· I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media
· I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media
· By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me
· I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies
· Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy
· Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood
· I feel confident when I take a selfie
· I become more positive about myself when I take selfies
· I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence
· I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfie and share it on social media
· I become a strong member of my peer group through posting selfies
· When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group
A person who takes the SBS questionnaire is supposed to read the statements in the second column of the table above and then rate how well each statement matches his or her own feelings. These answers subsequently help determine how much each of the factors is driving selfie-taking and categorize the person as not having selfitis or having borderline, acute, or chronic selfitis. The SBS factors and questions do lend some insight into why you or others may be taking lots of selfies.
But how useful is it to have the term "selfitis" and a specific SBS questionnaire? Like many selfies, unclear. Nearly any activity can progress to excessive or obsessive levels. behavioral-scale-itis. How is taking too many selfies that different from going overboard on any other popular fad? So “unreal!” Fads come and go. I hope...