Taking Selfies Obsessively Is A Symptom Of A Real Mental Condition

Okay, but first, let me take a selfie. Did you take one today? Have you ever counted how many selfies do you take daily? Undoubtedly, taking selfies has become an inevitable part of our everyday life.

Not only when we want to freeze and capture important moments of our life or while traveling, but also just out of boredom. Or habit maybe? Technology allows us to take better pictures, while all those tips, tricks, and filters make us look better than ever in them.

However, if you exaggerate, it might not be so fun anymore. In fact, research has suggested that taking selfies obsessively can be regarded as a real mental condition called “Selfitis”.

Teenagers taking selfie with camera phone
Credit: Getty

The name has been used since 2014 to describe the addiction of taking selfies. Now, researchers have come up with other forms of illnesses that have developed during our digital age. For instance, have you hear about Nomophobia? It is the phobia, the fear of not having a mobile phone at hand.

Researchers from Nottingham Trent University in England and the Thiagarajar School of Management in India have investigated what being diagnosed entails. They also developed a ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ for assessing its severity. The findings of the study revealed three levels of the condition: “borderline”, “acute” and “chronic”.

Also, six motivating factors for the condition have been identified: increased self-confidence, attention seeking, mood improvement, connection with the environment, increasing societal conformity and competitive. The study included two focus groups of 200 participants.

First, borderline selfies occur when people take a minimum of three selfies per day but they resist posting them online. People who are acutely affected by Selfitis would take three selfies a day and, actually, post them on social media.

Finally, the chronic condition can be described as an almost uncontrollable urge to take photos of oneself and share them online over six times a day.


Dr. Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University surmised it in his paper:

“This study arguably validates the concept of selfitis and provides benchmark data for other researchers to investigate the concept more thoroughly and in different contexts.

The concept of selfie-taking might evolve over time as technology advances, but the six identified factors that appear to underlie selfitis in the present study are potentially useful in understanding such human-computer interaction across mobile electronic devices.”

Father and three children taking a selfie together outside Buckingham Palace in London

Dr Mark Griffiths added, “As with internet addiction, the concepts of Selfitis and selfie addiction started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.”

After reading this you will probably ask yourself how many selfies you take per day and whether you share them or not. Many people might also re-evaluate how often they reach for their phones and turn its camera on.

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Source: VT