In a world governed by social media, taking selfies of our everyday life and posting it online is deemed all too natural. However, if you think that the constant use of dog-face on Snapchat filter or documenting life experiences of the vacation nights a little carried away beyond the moderate, you haven't had the worst part of it. Psychologists say that the obsessive need to post photos online is a genuine mental disorder. The need to take limitless selfies has also been coined as ‘Selfitis’. The term ‘selfie’ entered the Oxford Dictionary back in 2013, which was around the time smartphones with front-facing cameras were released. And since then, the hashtag ‘selfie’ has over 368 million posts on Instagram, and every generation is joining in with the craze.
Mark D. Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, UK, have published a new paper in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction titled 'An Exploratory Study of ‘Selfitis’ and the Development of the Selfitis Behavior Scale’’ categorised three types of Selfitis; ‘borderline’, ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’. The study created a Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS) that aimed to classify selfie-obsessed people into degrees of exhibiting selfitis. Of the participants, 34% were borderline, 40.5% were acute, and 25.5% were chronic. Men were found to exhibit selfitis at a higher rate than women — 57.5% compared to 42.5%, respectively. Younger people in the 16-20-year-old age group were also found to be the most susceptible.
The paper, written by Dr Mark Griffiths from NTU, concluded: “This study arguably validates the concept of selfies and provides benchmark data for other researchers.” Dr Mark Griffiths said that, just like internet addiction, 'the concepts of Selfitis and selfie addiction started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.'
So, are you suffering from ‘Selfitis’?