Posted in Health, news, Social Media

Selfitis – Obsessive Selfie Disorder Defined

The average person performs more selfies in one day than going to the bathroom.  We witness people take pictures of themselves on trains, in lines at the DMV and while shopping at Wal-Mart, only to re-expose us to their obsession on social media.  We can’t escape people’s faces with peering eyes and face contortions no matter what we do as we are forced to feign care and interest in what their expression is telling us while they are ordering a Big Mac.

We’ve all predicted a “mental disorder” would eventually be named for this obsessive and narcissistic behavior that haunts us every screen shot and follows us with every scroll……and now it has.  Two psychiatrists, Janarthanan Balakrishnan from Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai and Mark D Griffiths of UK’s Nottingham Trent University surveyed 400 students who attended management courses at two colleges in India and classified them as the following

Borderline

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES NOT post on social media.  34% fell into this category.

Acute

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES post on social media.  40.5% fell into this category.

Chronic

One who takes selfies more than 6 times a day while posting on social media, suffered by 25.5% of respondents.

In fact, after the respondents were asked about their selfie habits, many took selfies.

India is a hotbed of selfitis and tragically boasts the highest selfie death rate in the world (76 cases out of 127 world-wide).

Selfies offer numerous incentives in our current social culture.  These include:

  • Cementing the memory in time
  • Being included in social media feeds
  • Preventing the “out of sight, out of mind” concept when it comes to relationships
  • Competition
  • Attention seeking, by hundreds of people at once
  • Manipulation of facial features and weight depending on lighting, filters and poses.

Think about it, if we want to look attractive, and show the world, we have unlimited picture and editing power.

Indian Medical Association President, Dr. KK  Aggarwal, issued the following warning:

A lot of us have become slaves to devised that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.

What precautionary measures can be taken?

When any obsession starts setting in, will power must be utilized and boundaries set. However, when this fails, friends and family members need to be recruited. Assign one person to be your “selfie police” who only allows you one selfie a day.  You and he/she can pick the selfie, dress it up, crop it, spending as much time as you need on this one selfie.  Posting will only be allowed once a day.  After exhaustively creating your one selfie, hopefully you realize the futility of your efforts, and maybe you’ll skip a day, and then two.

Remember, “less is more” and your friends will be more excited to see you or your pic if they weren’t supersaturated with you all day long on their social media feed.

Let me know how it works for you, since I’m not ready to detox yet…..

 

selfie.jpg

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Author:

Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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