If you’re part of this mortal world, chances are you’re someone who, invariably ends up clicking selfies; even if you don’t like to. And while that’s almost everyone of us on the planet, looks like we’re in for some bad news that will not bode well.
Clicking selfies, as it turns out, has been linked to mental disorders, according to a recent Indian study conducted by the Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Thiagarajar School of Management (TSM) in Tamil Nadu. The interesting story behind the onset of the study dates back to a hoax that had begun to do the rounds back in 2014, that claimed ‘selfitis’ was supposed to be a “genuine mental disorder” that was confirmed by the American Psychiatric Association, wrote Hindustan Times. And while the hoax was soon rubbished, it did inspire the team to delve deeper into the phenomena to see if there was any truth to it, at all.
And there is indeed, a lot of truth to what was once deemed a hoax. Clicking selfies is a mental disorder. The researchers have confirmed the findings in their reports and have developed the ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’; a scale that can be used to measure the severity of the selfie-clicking disorder in people.
What Is Selfitis?
The scale has been developed using a large number of focus groups comprising of around 200 participants and has been put to the test through a survey that consisted of 400 participants who were based in India; not just because we, as a country amount to the largest population on Facebook, but also because we also make up for the most number of ‘death by selfie’ rates. Shocked? Don’t be because I’m not surprised. It goes to show the extent to which one is ready to ‘fall’ - quite literally - just so they can take the perfect selfie!
According to the findings that have been published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, there are three levels to selfitis with the baseline being a minimum of three selfies per day and refraining from posting them on social media.
Acute selfitis then, would be defined as taking selfies at least three times a day and posting each one on social media.
Chronic selfitis is the uncontrollable urge to take photos of oneself round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day, the research concludes.
How To Tell If You Have Selfitis…
When it came to determining the reasons as to why people click selfies, it was noted that the factors responsible had to do with increasing self-confidence, attention seeking, improving one’s mood, connecting with the environment around (to create a record of memories), increasing conformity with the social group around them, as well as being socially competitive.
“A few years ago, stories appeared in the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association,” Mark Griffiths, from Nottingham Trent University, revealed. But, while the story was revealed to be a hoax, it did not mean that the condition of selfitis did not exist, he added. “We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world’s first Selfitis Behaviour Scale to assess the condition,” he concluded.
“Typically, those with the condition suffer from a lack of self-confidence and are seeking to ‘fit in’ with those around them, and may display symptoms similar to other potentially addictive behaviours,” Janarthanan Balakrishnan, assistant professor at TSM, added. “Now the existence of the condition appears to have been confirmed, it is hoped that further research will be carried out to understand more about how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behaviour, and what can be done to help people who are the most affected,” he said.