Mental disorder ‘Selfitis’ and social media addiction

Selfies have become a part of daily life for many Americans, but if you’re taking too many, psychologists say you might have “selfitis.”

There’s much ink that has been spilled over the social media addiction that seems to have become so prevalent with the widespread use of smartphones the seemingly omnipresent wifi connections.

When it comes to selfies, some are taking hundreds of them daily in order to get just the right angle, or just the right expression, or just the right whatever in order to look just right, in order to project the best self image in order to be perceived by others in just the right way.

CBS Miami Reports:

NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Selfies have become a part of daily life for many Americans, but if you’re taking too many, psychologists say you might have “selfitis.”

Sisters Taelor and Tia Smith, and their friend Tikia Travis, say they snap hundreds of selfies a day.

“I would have to say about 700 a day,” said Tia Smith.

Why so many?

“Look, I have to make sure I get the right angle,” she said.

“It gives me confidence because sometimes I feel you know everything doesn’t translate on camera, but then to turn and see – oh my goodness – my teeth look great, my eyebrows match – this is great,” said Taelor Smith.

A recent study in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction suggests compulsive selfie-taking can lead to “selfitis.”

“A selfie addiction is when a person is almost obsessively taking selfies, multiple times a day, and posting that to whatever it might be – Snapchat, or Facebook, Instagram,” said Dr. Ramani Durvasula, professor of Psychology at California State University.

Durvasula said if more than 50 percent of your photos are selfies and you’re using filters frequently, those are red flags.

“More studies are showing this, the more time spent on social media sites negatively affects people’s self-esteem,” he said. “It can make a person less able to cope, more likely to have anxiety, depression – that sort of thing.”

She said to help avoid selfitis, put the phone down and create “selfie free zones.”

“Sometimes I just want to get that perfect picture and sometimes it takes 200 times to get it right,” said Taelor Smith.

Taelor said she’s not obsessed, she’s just a “selfi connoisseur.”

Durvsula said if you’re a parent or friend of someone who might be addicted to selfies, you can help them by not liking or validating their photos.

The sheer amount of stress that some people put themselves under in order to look “just right” and in order to gain the “right” perception by others leads some to become jaded about the whole thing and to make an attempt to reject or change those artificial expectations.

It seems that we have become so addicted to social media that we rely on it as much as the internet itself, in some cases more than just a utility but almost as if it were a drug.

The outage experienced across America, Europe, and parts of Asia thust focus on this reality when suddenly people were unable to access their Facebook accounts.

Selfitis and too much reliance on social media platforms may be a sign that we becoming  civilization that is over obsessed with ourselves.

Narcissus never had a smartphone, but if he did, he might have lived on social media, right next to a wifi router and power outlet.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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