‘Selfitis’—the Obsessive Need to Take Selfies—is a Genuine Mental Condition, Experts Say.
“Selfitis” or the obsessive taking of selfies could actually be a genuine mental disorder, according to a recent study.
Psychologists have now developed a test to which people can take to see where they fit in the Selfitis Behavior Scale. (Scroll down below to see quiz)
The term was first coined in 2014, where a spoof article claimed that the American Psychiatric Association was considering classifying “selfitis” as a mental disorder. Even though it was found to be a hoax, in the end, it inspired some researchers from Nottingham Trent University, UK and Thiagarajar School of Management, India to explore the concept.
During the study, volunteers were interviewed to develop an initial understanding of the underlying characteristics of excessive selfie-taking behavior. This helped form a framework for assessing the severity of the volunteers based on three “selfitis” categories—borderline, acute, and chronic—that were initially mentioned in the spoof article.
The research defined the three levels of the disorder as follows:
Borderline: Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
Acute: Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media.
Chronic: 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.
Dr. Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University and a co-author of the paper told the Daily Mail that the study arguably validates the concept of “selfitis” and provides benchmark data for researchers to delve into the concept more deeply 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,” Griffiths said.
The Selfitis Behavior Scale is measured from one to 100 and consists of 20 statements revolving around six factors—self-confidence, attention seeking, mood modification, environmental enhancement, subjective conformity, and social competition.
After the scale was developed, the researchers tested it on 400 participants in India—the country with the most Facebook users.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction and mentioned that “selfitis” appears to be another candidate to be added on the growing list of “technology addictions” such as internet addiction, online video game addiction, mobile phone addiction and social media addiction.
Here’s a fun way to see whether you’ve got “selfitis.”
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