Does Selfitis Exist?


Have you ever caught yourself on a thought that you can’t spend a day without posting at least one picture? Or maybe you’ve started noticing that taking a selfie a day has gradually become an everyday habit you can’t go on without? Hmm…seems like a vivid reason to begin to worry about your health condition unless you want to be diagnosed with a mental health photography disorder called SELFITIS!

Who is Selfitis?

If back in 2014 (the time when the term “selfitis” was firstly introduced as an obsessed mental illness) it sounded more like the fake theory, today it is an urgent issue in need of thorough examination. Selfitis was meant to describe a problem of taking too many selfies and a compelling desire to continually share pictures online. However, the hoax, at the first sight, story was investigated and confirmed the fact that selfitis IS a developing in young people mental obsession characteristic for a person who takes too many selfies.

Believe it or not, but thanks to the findings of a group of researchers from Nottingham Trent University, U.K., and Thiagarajar School of Management, India the following facts were revealed: the causes of selfitis, the motivating factors driving people to constantly shoot and even a behavior scale with the help of which it is easy to define whether you are addicted to taking selfies or not.

The research involved a survey conducted among 200 hundred participants from India, the country where the number of Facebook users and the rate of deaths related to the attempts to take selfies in a dangerous place is the highest. The participants were asked to evaluate their attitude to the suggested statements with the help of the scale from one to five, where five would express a person's strong agreement and one strong disagreement. After answering the questions, the participants had to add up all the scores in order to assess their susceptibility to selfitis.

The results show the reasons of selfie problems, which are the lack of attention/self-confidence/self-esteem, the desire to match modern fashion standards, social recognition, person’s attempts to enhance their mood, necessity in making memories, the importance of subjection opinion, high level of competitiveness on social platforms and many others. These motivating factors push people to become infected with potentially obsessive behavior that is so widely spread on the Internet, hence, to turn into victims of a mental health disorder. Moreover, the findings helped to distinguish three major types of selfitis: to the “borderline” selfitis belong people, who are prone to taking selfies every day at least three times without posting them on social media; the “acute” selfitis is the stage of the disorder characterized by already posting pictures; and the “chronic” phase of selfitis during which people can’t control the strive for taking photos of themselves, sharing them online more than six times a day. They also aren’t able to distinguish or deny the possession of selfitis symptoms in order to get rid of the developing mental illness.

Although, the results of the research are based on the survey conducted within only one ethnic group, we have to be blind not to notice recent contagious spread of selfitis all over the world, and in particular, it is widely spread in the USA, where selfitis has recently become an American psycho mental illness.

To understand more about how and why selfie problems start and continue to develop and what kind of treatment should be suggested to people, who are affected the most, further researches have to be carried out.

In the era of modern technologies, it is hard to resist the excessive usage of our phones or staying on trend like with taking and posting pictures. For this reason, you should ask yourself if you still can measure that line between normal and abusive amount of taking selfies or it is already blurred. Aren’t you afraid of realizing the fact that one day you may start belonging to the list of mentally ill people diagnosed with yet young but progressive selfitis?