Selfies are becoming an Addiction & Mental Illness, Digital Narcissism or Mental Disorder

Going to take a selfie? Beware of its psychological effects!!

Oxford dictionary’s word of the year 2013, Selfie has brought about a revolution of celebrating self in the modern world. Initially popular among the youth, it slowly gained traction among adults and children. Though loving and celebrating self sometimes is a good thing, overdoing it comes with its own negative consequences. Selfie began as a fun casual act of capturing self but it has now become an addiction for many. Increase in number of social media platforms has also encouraged people to develop an influential image in the internet world and make a statement about themselves.

 

selfiemania a health problem of the new generation
selfiemania a health problem of the new generation

 

People have started gauging their self worth on the basis of number of responses in terms of likes or comments on their selfies. They have become addicted to that sense of euphoria they experience when they receive high number of likes for their selfies.

 

problem of anxiety and depression
problem of anxiety and depression

This results in amplified self obsession and brings out narcissist behavior of an individual. They incessantly try to capture a perfect selfie that they think others will like and approve of by focusing on parameters such as perfect angle, perfect look, perfect light and so forth. And when the response for their selfies does not come as desired, they feel dissatisfied, disappointed, irritated and to an extent depressed.

 

The American Psychiatric Association and other such organizations have now begun to address this mental disorder that one undergoes due to an excessive addiction to selfie. According to them, if a person uploads more than three selfies on social media in a day on regular basis, then he/she is most likely to suffer from this disorder.

 

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selfie addiction is a type of mental disorder or health problem
selfie addiction is a type of mental disorder or health problem

 

They have also identified that people with fewer friends and interpersonal issues are most likely to resort to selfies that help them in raising their self esteem. What they are unable to achieve in real world, they try to get that in virtual world of internet. They crave for approval from the people that can only see them through their selfies and thus, become victims to this addiction as they constantly try to strike that ideal selfie that is approved by all. 

 

why not to take too much selfies

 

Psychiatrists say that it is absolutely fine to capture yourself or your friends when on an outing and posting it on social media but viewing the entire outing only through your camera is a disturbing aspect because it implies that you did not actually enjoy the entire experience of going out, socializing and eating. Hence, you will not experience an intrinsic happiness that comes from socializing with friends but just a superficial sense of satisfaction that came from capturing ideal selfies. This has led to disturbed social relations and a phenomenon of empty self. As a result of technological advancement, communication between people is no longer real but digital.

 

side effects of selfie addiction
side effects of selfie addiction

 

Digital Narcissism has seen a rise as a result of selfie revolution. People have increasingly become desperate for praise and recognition in the virtual world. Social media platforms encourage people to compare themselves with others that result in greater mental pressure. An inferiority complex is easy to creep in and distort the mental order of the individual. This not only reduces self confidence of an individual but also interferes with his/her career and everyday life. This will also impact an individual’s creativity and unique abilities. Not just this, people are crossing the limits in order to get the best selfie, and adhering to which number of people lost their lives; and this number is ever increasing, since the day selfie clicking came into trend.

 

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selfie addiction new digital age health problem
selfie addiction new digital age health problem

 

Dermatologists have revealed that the process of taking selfie requires an exposure of face to light and radiations coming out from the smartphones. This harms skin and can speed up its ageing and wrinkles. Selfie elbow has become a common condition where individuals suffer from inflammation in their elbows because they extend arms and try to grip their phones in a way the body is not designed to do often. Such strain injuries directly affect the health and well-being of individuals. Excessive attention to number of responses to selfie leave an individual with lesser rigor and time to do other important tasks of life and leave them with a void. It increases their dependency on phone and other digital medium of communication which has its own repercussions.

 

you are selfie addict , save yourself from digital age probelms
you are selfie addict , save yourself from digital age problem

 

Hence, there is strong recommendation from health experts that people take efforts to reduce their phone or camera usage for clicking selfies all the time. They suggest that people realize that it is important to live a fulfilling life from one’s own perspective and not from others’ notion of an ideal life. A happy life is one where varied moments of life are experienced in their full potential rather than just a superficial experience for a perfect selfie. This time of selfie epilepsy requires people to contemplate the importance of building real social relations and refraining from the constant desire to get approval from a virtual world of internet.

 

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Tanvi Jain

Tanvi Jain

I am an MBA student of NMIMS, Mumbai. I pursued engineering in the field of Computer Science and graduated in 2015. As part of student editorial board in college, I enthusiastically worked for structure and substance of articles.
I like reading classics since they give me space and capacity to reflect. Cupcakes make me skip my no sugar resolve. I enjoy nurturing plants as they bring good health and vital freshness to my life.
In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, I like exploring products, methods and experiences that help one achieve good health and sound mind. I believe that technology has extensively changed the fitness environment by providing a highly engaging fitness experience.
Tanvi Jain

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