Lucknow: ‘Selfitis’ – the obsessive taking of selfies on mobile phones – appears to be a real condition according to a new study. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University and the Thiagarajar School of Management in India began investigating the phenomenon after a hoax story appeared in the media in 2014 claiming ‘selfitis’ had been classed as a genuine mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
The researchers have now confirmed its existence and developed the ‘Selfitis Behaviour Scale’ which can be used to assess its severity.
The scale was developed using a large number of focus groups with 200 participants and the scale was tested via a survey of 400 participants. Participants were based in India because the country has the most users on Facebook, as well as the highest number of deaths as a result of trying to take selfies in dangerous locations.
Three levels of selfitis:
- 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 one 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
Six motivating factors have been identified, with selfitis sufferers typically seeking to increase their self-confidence, seek attention, improve their mood, connect with the environment around them (to create a record of memories), increase their conformity with the social group around them, as well as being socially competitive. The prevalence of these factors determined the level of selfitis severity.
Here’s a selfitis test for you
Using the statements below, rate them 1-5, where 5 is strongly agree, and 1 is strongly disagree. The higher your score, the greater the likelihood is that you suffer from selfitis.
- Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment
- Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues
- I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media
- I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies
- I feel confident when I take a selfie
- I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfies and share them on social media
- I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies
- Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status
- I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media
- Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy
- I become more positive about myself when I take selfies
- I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings
- Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience
- I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media
- By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me
- Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood
- I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence
- When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group
- I take selfies as trophies for future memories
- I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others
I guess by now you must be having a good idea, weather you are suffering selfitis or not.