Home Lifestyle Health Are You Obsessed With Selfies? Here Is What Experts Have To Say

Are You Obsessed With Selfies? Here Is What Experts Have To Say

4 min read

Everyone loves taking selfies. However, there is a dark side to that too. One of the iconic photos of recently concluded elections in the US was of the crowd taking selfies with their back turned even as Democratic presidential candidate waved at them.

Many sociologists termed the photo as a representation of the narcissistic ‘generation selfie’ but did not call the obsession a mental condition. Two psychiatrists claim to have proven through research that the obsessive need to post selfies or selfitis is a mental condition and those suffering from it may need professional help.

Janarthanan Balakrishnan from Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai and Mark D Griffiths of UK’s Nottingham Trent University, the two researchers, have based their claim on the responses they got from 400 young students pursuing management courses at two colleges in India, the names of which have not been disclosed.


The two researchers targeted India for their research as India has the maximum number of Facebook users. India also accounts for more selfie deaths than any other country, with 76 deaths out of the total 127 reported worldwide. The research has been published in the International Journal of Mental Health Addiction and the researchers have categorized three levels of selfitis, namely borderline, acute and chronic.

Borderline cases include people who take selfies at least three times a day but don’t post them on social media. Acute selfitis involves people who post them on social media. The chronic sufferers are those who feel an uncontrollable urge to take selfies and post them more than six times daily. In their study involving the students — mostly aged between 16 and 25 years — 40.50% subjects fell in the category of acute selfitis, 34% were in the borderline category and 25.50% suffered chronic selfitis.


The factors responsible for this behavior comprised environmental enhancement, social competition, attention-seeking, mood modification, self-confidence, and social conformity. Some of the quotes from interviews that exemplified and helped sub-scale the categories included: “Taking selfies in a specific environment helps me to remember the moment for a long time”; “I feel I am lost when my friends get more likes and comments for selfies than me”; “Sometimes taking selfies helps me come out of any depressive thoughts”; “Sometimes, by trying new selfie poses, my friends, accept me as a strong group member.”

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