Saturday 5 December, 2020

Love taking selfies? You might have 'selfitis'

It's not a joke; 'selfitis' is a real condition and you just might have it. 

According to the New York Post, the condition could determine whether your selfie-taking could be classed as addictive behaviour. 

Although the term, which was around since 2014, was refuted as a hoax by the American Psychologists Association, a recent study carried out by researchers from Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Thiagarajar School of Management in India, confirmed the condition. 

A total of 225 students from two Indian universities were pooled and categorized into three condition groups - borderline, acute, and chronic.

Some of the questions put forward to participants included: “What compels you to take selfies?”, “Do you feel addicted to taking selfies?”, “Do you think that someone can become addicted to taking selfies?”, etc.

The study showed that selfie-takers attempt to conform to groups via social media and may follow implicit protocols to gain social acceptance.

The study selected Indian students because India has the most Facebook users and also accounts for more selfie deaths in the world compared to any other country.

Findings from the focus group showed that selfie-takers appear to feel privileged to connect with the environment via a selfie.

In fact, the participants took numerous selfies after the focus groups had finished, perhaps to provide a memory of the experience or to feel good about the research they had just been involved in.


Here’s how you can tell if you have ‘selfitis’

Answer the following 10 questions on a scale of one to five, where five is strongly agree and one is strongly disagree.

At the end add up all of your scores.

The higher your score (the highest is 200) the greater the likelihood that you suffer from selfitis.

1. Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment

2. Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues

3. I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media

4. I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies

5. I feel confident when I take a selfie

6. I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfies and share them on social media

7. I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies

8. Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status

9. I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media

10. Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy

11. I become more positive about myself when I take selfies

12. I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings

13. Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience

14. I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media

15. By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me

16. Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood

17. I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence

18. When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group

19. I take selfies as trophies for future memories

20. I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others


Scoring: Responses are rated on a 5-point Likert scale: (5 = strongly agree; 4 = Agree; 3 = Neither Agree or Disagree; 2 = Disagree; 1 = Strongly Disagree). Scores are summed. The higher the score, the greater the likelihood of selfitis. 

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