Before you get all defensive, this is exactly what it sounds like. Your obsessive taking of selfies could mean only one thing: Selfitis.
Jokes aside, your obsessive taking of selfies could just be your garden-variety narcissism, but selfitis is actually an obsessive mental behaviour being studied by researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management. The researchers began with a fake news story as inspiration, but recently confirmed that “selfitis” could indeed be “a thing.”
According to the researchers who published their findings in the International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, those afflicted by selfitis will use selfies to improve their mood and/or confidence. Also, it can be a highly-addictive behaviour that can even reveal or be related to other mental health issues and motivations. Low self-confidence for example.
The study “empirically explored the concept and collected data on the existence of selfitis with respect to the three alleged levels (borderline, acute, and chronic) and developed the Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS)” in a focus group of 225 University students in India. The SBS was then validated using 400 more students and six factors were identified as “environmental enhancement:” Social competition, attention seeking, mood modification, self-confidence, and social conformity.
Attention seeking, environmental enhancement, and social competition had the highest mean scores in the chronic condition in the results of the study. The researchers found that 34% had borderline selfitis, 40.5% acute selfitis, and 25.5% chronic selfitis.
It is more likely to afflict men (57.5%) vs women (42.5%) who are in the younger 16-20-year-old age group. 9% of this group tool more than eight selfies per day. 25% shared at least three images on social media each day.
The results show that SBS can be assessed, but further studies globally are necessary to validate the idea further.
Image credit: Yoremahm on Instagram