‘Selfitis’; This is what is called the condition by which people feel the obligation to publish photographs of themselves on social networks.
The term was coined for the first time in 2014 to describe stories about the obsessive selfish take that the American Psychiatric Association was considering classifying as ‘disorder‘.
Although this statement was false, later, different empirical studies were carried out to determine if the concept could be real. Specifically, the Nottingham Trent University team and the Thiagarajar School of Management (in India) decided to investigate the psychological entity of the phenomenon.
The study was conducted in the country with the most Facebook users and that more selfish related deaths have been recorded in the last year, India. Some 200 participants were tested to determine what factors boosted their self-esteem.
The study, therefore, has explored the concept and has collected data on the existence of ”selfitis”. Likewise, he has developed the first Autism Behavior Scale (SIS) to assess his condition. According to experts, people who follow this compulsive behavior may need help.
The scale of ‘me’
When confirming the existence of ‘selfitis’, a framework, the SIS, was tested to assess the severity of the subjects. There are thus, three supposed levels: limit, acute and chronic.
The first level, the limit, consists of self-photography at least three times a day, but not publishing them on social networks. The acute one already implies the publication of the images in the internet platforms. And the last of the levels, the chronic, is the uncontrollable impulse to take pictures throughout the day and publish them on social networks more than six times a day.
The researchers discovered that typical patients of ‘selfitis’ followed a prototype of characteristics. These people were defined by the search for attention, often lacking in self- confidence, and who hope to increase their social status and feel part of a group by constantly publishing images of themselves.
Mental health disorders are accentuated with the use of technology.
Some examples directly related to it are the ‘nomophobia‘ (fear of not being close to a mobile phone), ‘tecnoferencia‘ (the constant intrusion of technology in everyday life), and ‘cyberchondria‘ (feeling of discomfort after seeking the internet the symptoms of a certain disease).
According to Dr. Mark Griffiths, a professor of Behavioral Addiction at the Department of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, “this study could be said to validate the concept of self-esteem and provide baseline data for other researchers to concretize the concept further and explore different contexts.”
Now, more studies are expected to be conducted to understand how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behavior, and what can be done to help the people who are most affected.