This blog is written about Selfie Addiction. These blog deals with the current and upcoming of taking selfies. The ill effects and other psychiatric disorders caused by it is also discussed. An insight for the same to look into its positive side is also portrayed. The mental disorders, suicidal urge, eating disorders caused by such addiction is put into limelight. The evolution of selfie and its popularity is put light upon.

Selfie is an image of oneself or self-portrait that features the photographer, taken with a camera phone or digital camera. People usually share it on social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google+, Snapchat and Tumblr. They are often taken for flattery.  The concept of selfie isn’t new. In 1839, Robert Cornelius who was a chemist turned into photographer produced a selfie. But in the last two years, the popularity of selfie has grown to its epitome. The Oxford Dictionary pronounced it as a new word of 2013. Selfie has become an addiction for people these days. They cannot live without clicking their pictures, not one or two in number, but plenty. They tend to choose one among all pictures, that they think is the best and share it on social media for appreciation and flattery. Selfie has become a social epidemic. Scientific studies state that selfies have become an addiction leading to narcissism and other personality disorders.


In the old days, when there were rolls in cameras, once the picture clicked was final. But with the change in trends digital cameras were introduced for taking multiple clicks for the similar frame. People, who do not get satisfied with their pictures at once, take multiple shots until satisfied. With the onset and increasing popularity of social media, the experimentation with myriad expressions is too much in trend. Further, it is reported that a sitcom called Selfie will be aired by ABC in September. A band called “The Chainsmokers” launched a music video for a “Selfie” song. In the earlier days photography was an expensive thing. But with digital cameras, there are no printing costs involved. It was easy to view or erase images. Sometime later, the dial up internet was replaced with broadband giving a faster and better surfing experience. This gave a push to social networking. The concept of Profile picture was brought my MySpace. In 2007, there was camera introduced in phones by Steve Jobs with iPhone. He provided with additional features like sending them privately to your contact list or by uploading them to social network profiles. As stated by the reports, about 1.8 billion photos are shared on an everyday basis.

Selfie stick is an accessory or a monopod claimed to be the best invention of 2014 by Time Magazine. It is used to take selfies by positioning camera or Smartphone beyond the range of arm. The metal sticks that get extended, have an adjustable clamp so that it holds the phone in place. This was invented for the ease of people with selfie addiction. It enables a better click of picture because it solves the question of taking picture with one hand or both. The selfie crazy people make the most of this stick because normally the hands might be shaky but the stick makes a picture stable. The models are further designed with Bluetooth controls which give the user the comfort of timing when to click the picture. Although, it is banned at several places because of the risk of damaging art. Several concerts and events banned selfie sticks so that is no illegal recording.

According to American Psychiatric Association, people taking upto three selfies in a day may be called with having mental disorder. The craze for selfie may be classified into three types namely Borderline selfitis, Acute selfitis and Chronic selfitis.  Borderline selfitis is the bunch of people who take photos of themselves atleast thrice a day but do not post on a social networking site or media.  These are moderately attractive people. Acute selfitis are the people who click their photos atleast thrice in a day and post all of them on social media. These grab attention on social media and gathers them flattery and likes. Chronic selfitis are the attention seekers who have an uncontrollable urge for clicking pictures the whole time and posting them over media more than six times in a day.


Researchers have developed a psychological scale, proving scientifically that taking too many selfies might be a psychiatric risk. People tend to have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) often these days because of the rise of camera phones and trend of taking selfies to upload it on social media sites. Compulsive behavior is noticed among people who are addicted with taking selfies. The behavior can be known by cognitive behavior therapy and learning to moderate it. People take multiple clicks until they find the right one. They pick up every detail on them to make it look perfect, eyebrows, smiles, teeth, nose, eyes, hair and so on. A perfect angle is identified for a perfect click. There is a sense of self-consciousness and confidence that keeps arising explicitly. Also, the number of likes and flattering comments gained in the picture justifies happiness which is incorrect.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychological disorder which makes the person obsessive with their imaginary defects in appearances. It is a distinctive disorder but the symptoms cannot be fully elaborated. The people with this disorder are preoccupied with a minor defect and they picture themselves as being ugly. They also undergo surgery and other medical implications in order to improve their physical appearance. It is very similar with people having eating disorder and compulsive disorder for being obsessed. The people having eating disorders worry about their shape and weight, but a person having BDD keeps worried and concerned about a specific body part which he thinks is not perfect. The people having obsessive compulsive disorder have thoughts that are distressing in nature. They have fears and certain perceptions that cannot be controlled. This further leads to anxiety or nervousness which makes it compulsory to perform certain routines or rituals.

Narcissism or obsession with self-looks in an egoistic manner is another problem of the current age. Science confirms the effects of selfies as the worst. According to studies, selfie is responsible for two levels of narcissism. Firstly, being on a social media or networking site is itself a narcissist job. This clearly represents a lack of self esteem by posting pictures on websites. It was also found that the people doing such jobs on social media tend to have shallow relationships with people in the real world. The increased usage of social networking sites leads to a decline in the meaning of real relationships and intimacy. Survey was conducted to know the intimacy or relationship of such people in real life which concluded the survey as people being self-centered and clueless of their doings.

Self objectification is another psychiatric disorder which is a bigger problem for men. The psychologists found out that men who post selfies on a regular basis, scored high on anti-social traits. Men portray their images for improving their appearance show clear signs of narcissism and self objectification. According to Personality and Individual Differences, 2001, narcissism is a psychological flaw that relates to the feeling of over confident, more attractive and intelligent and better than others. It is also studied that the men who show signs of such psychopath are more likely to be lacking in empathy or impulsive in nature. The survey was conducted with 800 men aged 18-40 about the social media output by giving them questionnaires related to psychology for establishment of personality traits. The survey consisted of questions asking them the frequency of their pictures getting posted on social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. They were also asked if they edit their pictures in Photoshop first. Self objectification leads to terrible happenings like depression, eating disorders and other psychological problems.

The case of Danny Bowman, a British teen exemplified the worst case of a selfie addiction. He is a living proof of what the future would be like if this goes on the same way. Danny snapped over 200 photos in a day because he didn’t find a perfect click. He went into depression and did not get out of his house for the next six months. He dropped out of school and lost thirty pounds of body weight. The frustration kept increasing for the inability to capture a perfect selfie because of which he attempted suicide. Fortunately the doctors managed keeping him alive.  This clearly states that we live in a society that is provoked for perfection. People go through various surgeries and body enhancement forms in order to make themselves present better in the social world.

The controversial trend of Selfie Game or selfie Olympics was brought up by twitter and other media in the beginning of 2014. This showed the desire among people who risked their lives by performing stunts just for publicity. This clearly proves a lack in self-esteem in the current generation. Mostly people use group selfies in order to remove an image of a narcissist to prove to the world that they have a life full of friends and loved ones. This strategy is usually used by families or couples, parents having new born babies or best friends. They cause such addiction that in 2014, in the Hong Kong marathon there was a prohibition for taking selfies during running. After Selfie With Prime minister Narinder Modi was in trend, he selfied himself after casting his vote demonstrating the inked finger as an invitation to ask people for voting.

As a society, we people are obsessed with expressing and portraying ourselves that gives us happiness. There is an explanation to why the game of self expression won’t make one happy.  Self-construction and self expression are closely related terms. Human beings have a reflexive process of picking up actively, choosing and attaching themselves to those things or objects of the world, which one thinks is desirable. The notion of understanding the difference between tying up with tangible and intangible things is a totally different issue.  Self-construction involves communicating about oneself to the world. It displays a set of actions, opinions and aspirations. After identification if these elements, the parts to discuss about oneself or expressing comes into discussion.  The game of self-expression is celebrated in Britain widely. The practice is seen in both private as well as public realms of the tangible social world, that involves the night clubs and high street, dining, bedrooms, living rooms, and this is seen in the hyper real domains of virtual world. This happens in the world of culture being popular to the world of Facebook that is user generated. There are various ways to express oneself, but whatever way is chosen to construct self-identity must be loud enough and clear for people to see. The vision of happiness for many people is by vivaciously expressing their own selves. They do activities for the media and not for themselves- singing, dancing, and having a jolly time. These also include personal preferences of religion, holidaying, sport, dance, art, politics etc. The construction of self happiness is viewed as something that makes one happy. The desire for shopping clothes, the ritual of getting dressed up for more than an hour and any other activity that gets updated on Facebook by people and posting pictures for the same.


Contrarily, selfie may be an insight for getting better results. The basic notion of a selfie is to get recognized, feel appreciated and feel noticed. According to the study conducted by O.C. Tanner Institute, it was confirmed that the thing desired most by any person is recognition. Employees tend to leave their jobs because of lack of appreciation. The people with highest morale at work confirmed that they were all recognized by their employers. It was further reported that there were 79% of the people who left their job because of lack of appreciation. While 94.4% agreed with their recognition leading to high morale. Just 2.4% people having low morale said their boss being great at recognition. A survey by mental health professionals revealed that there is a desire among people for recognition and appreciation not only at the workplace but in the normal life. The issues within a marriage leading to divorce were cited as communication problems in 65% cases. The complaints posted by men leading to divorce was complaining and nagging in 70% case, not getting appreciated in 60% of the case. The top compliant that was most common from women that weighed 83% was a lack in recognition of their feelings and opinions. The best solution found for this problem has been appreciation. Selfies can be used as a marginal attempt for recognition and appreciation.



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