The Selfie. Nearly all of us have taken one at one time or another, either it was to try it out and see what all the hype was about or to share a photo with someone – it has become the way we share our lives with others.
There is some concern, however, in some circle that selfies may actually lead to some sort of mental illness. Now, before you start to panic, there are many schools of thought on this and I am going to explain just a couple of them.
According to Psychcentral.com, taking too many selfies is not a mental disorder. Some may see the overuse of the photos as a problem, but its not a mental illness. They have simply become all the rage the updated smartphones and cameras. There was a recent article out of the Philippines that called the obsessive selfies, “Selfitis.” What people did not realize is that they were reading a parody site and never bothered to check the facts of the article.
The question remains, however, is there actually any research in the phenomenon? Could it one day be considered a mental disorder? It is doubtful unless it is linked to a person’s pre-existing illness and narcissism.
This leads me to my second article on Selfies. Psychology Today says in an article about, Facebook – Selfies - and narcissism, selfies generate strong emotion in us. We enjoy seeing ourselves, which many will relate to being narcissistic and simply enjoying the idea of seeing oneself in pictures and sharing them with the world on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
A study was done with over 400 people who were asked about their Facebook behaviors, one of the main questions was about how they would rate their profile picture. This is where the narcissism came out in most people. They see themselves as their profile picture, how it is seen by others, are they attractive, etc. According to the test, however, women tended to be more narcissistic when it came to how they were perceived in their profiled picture. It reflected much of their identity, more so than men.
So, there are many thoughts on what selfies are doing to us as a culture, is it good or bad, no one can say for sure. It is a personal opinion as to what you do with the pictures, how often you take them and what they are used for. For those already living with mental illness, it can affect the perception of ourselves if the pictures are not received as we think they should be.
It’s a fine line to be walked by us all. As technology develops I am sure we will be faced with another “habit” before long.
How many selfies do you take? Do you think it can lead to bad behaviors and thoughts?