Selfie Addiction – A New Age Mental Disorder ?

In my previous post of #MyFriendAlexa series, I had talked about cell phone addiction. In this post, I will be talking on the effects of selfie addiction. Before I proceed, let me share some interesting facts about selfies:

  •  Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the year for 2013 was ‘selfie’.
  • World’s first selfie was taken in 1839 by Robert Cornelius in Philadelphia.
  • The word ‘Selfie’ was coined in 2002 by Nathan Hope.

selfie-addiction

Selfie addiction can lead to medical conditions like ‘Selfie elbow’. It is similar to ‘tennis elbow’ or ‘golfer’s elbow’. To click a selfie, you need to raise their arm for long periods, that put your elbow muscles under severe strain. This, in the long run, makes the elbow muscles swell and puts pressure on the bone. This makes the arm joints turn sore, stiff and eventually immovable.

Mental disorders due to Selfie Addiction

Selfie addiction can also lead to mental disorders like ‘Selfitis’, BDD (body dysmorphic disorder) and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Selfitis is a condition where people feel compelled to continually post pictures of themselves on social media. Selfitis can be further divided into three levels:

  • Borderline — Clicking at least three selfies a day, but not posting them on social media.
  • Acute — Clicking at least three selfies a day and posting all of them on social media.
  • Chronic — Clicking more than 6 selfies a day and posting all of them on social media.

BDD is a mental disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about the flaws in your appearance, they may/may not be visible. OCD is a mental condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

Now, the question is, how clicking selfies became a mental disorder? The answer is Social Media. People think that one’s popularity is measured by the no. of likes and comments that they receive on their posts. This is why many people click ‘dangerous selfies’ because they want to do something different to receive more attention.

Author’s Note: Clicking selfies or photographs are a good way to capture moments. But don’t let it become an obsession. DON’T click any selfie by putting your life at risk.

171 comments

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    • Poonam B (@beyondhorizon87) on September 11, 2018 at 14:45
    • Reply

    Enlightening post for the new aged obsession all over.

  1. Strange, first selfie was taken in 1839! I have heard of so many selfie deaths. When will people grow up?

    1. That’s the Question

    • indian beauty secrets on September 11, 2018 at 18:54
    • Reply

    Very true…it’s become an obsession

    • Nihar Pradhan on September 11, 2018 at 19:44
    • Reply

    Interesting to know that world’s first selfie was taken in 1839…who ever thought such a simple act of talking a photo of self will become such a big craze and it had redefined the way we have been looking ourselves, the obsession and the madness to go to any extent to get the act captured. Perhaps without the Social Media, it would have not gained the kind of ground it has gained in such short duration and continues to maintain that crazy momentum. To the extent that we have landed in mental disorder and digital has taken us for a ride literally and we are sucked into that vortex of instant gratification.
    😀

  2. I never knew that selfie addiction could lead to mental disorders. Well, I think that selfie addiction is a mental disorder in itself. As I like to say, this is the era of selfies and selfishness.

    1. clicking less than 3 selfies is normal… as per scientists

  3. Never thought selfie could lead to physical health issues as well. All we know was its a addiction! Mentally..

  4. You have written on a very relevant yet ignored topic. We keep hearing about accidents because someone was obsessed about taking selfies risking others lives in the process. Most of the things in moderation is not a problem. It is only when it turns to be an obsession that it becomes risky.

    1. People should check their obsessions… they shouldn’t forget that addictions are not good.

    • Gunjan (tuggu.n.mommy) on September 12, 2018 at 01:05
    • Reply

    Well, with the latest selfie addiction I.hope the youngsters feel this and don’t less it overpower them

  5. You wrote on a very important topic. Selfies are great for capturing moments, but it should not be an addiction that can harm us.

    • Nayantara Hegde on September 12, 2018 at 01:44
    • Reply

    Interesting post. I have heard of people losing life while clicking selfies from a cliff etc. That is crazy and a real issuee.

  6. I didn’t know selfie existed in 1839. Good article.

    • jaya1966 on September 12, 2018 at 07:08
    • Reply

    That is indeed a frightening trend. I agree all these modern gadgets lead to their own set of new problems. We often hear of people falling from terraces and balconies while attempting to take selfies from the edge. It is indeed a dangerous trend that can lead to mental and physical ill-health and needs to be curbed. #MyFriendAlexa #JaiSReads

  7. Very glad to go through this post, you have discussed the psychological effects of a common phenomenon which can be now a days in a profound way, though some people are not aware of such facts but any activity is not performed without a particular reason, psychology behind activities should be discussed to make people aware.

  8. Thanks for the awareness of the selfie syndrome. It has become a chronic among new generation.

  9. Wow, I didn’t know there was so much of selfie addiction around.

  10. Hey , your pust has hilights the ill-effects of latest craze,, selfie addiction. We see these addicts all over, even at home. Once I slapped my nephew cause he took our selfie, without my permission while I was busy keying a blogpost. We must warn our children about selfie-addiction. Prevention is the best cure. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

  11. Hey , I dont know , where my comment disappeared. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

    • Shubhra Rastogi on September 12, 2018 at 10:56
    • Reply

    True, it has indeed become an obsession. #MyFriendAlexa

  12. I suck at taking selfies and thats why I hardly try but I do get that its a dangerous obsession , when I see kids around it seems worrying especially as a Mom

    1. True that. That’s why they should be kept away from gadgets.

  13. We certainly have come a long way since 1839 for sure. In this day and age of selfies, FOMO and YOLO I guess I am glad that that I do not suffer from mental disorder due to selfie craze!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. That’s great.

  14. Sorry, initially I went into splits that it could be a formal disorder. But thanks for bringing to light this issue that mars the current generation. The facts and figures have left me wondering about how serious a disorder this is.

    1. The scariest part is that it can lead to conditions like tennis elbow.

  15. True, selfie is becoming a national addiction and obsession. Starting with our PM, everyone now takes a selfie. People walk on railway track and take selfie with an incoming train. In the process they get killed. People take selfie in the middle of the road and get run over by a car. Somehow the whole world vanishes when one is taking a selfie. Phone companies are encouraging the phenomenon by designing phones that have better and better cameras some in the front and some at the back.A machine meant for connecting people living far away, is now used to taking selfie.

    1. In the near future… we may get to see mobile phones being shipped with a statutory warning for selfie addicts.

    • MeenalSonal on September 12, 2018 at 11:42
    • Reply

    Seriously, these selfie lovers are taking toll in social gatherings. Unpreparedness of others is also welcomed in their selfie, that is so weird.

    Cheers
    MeenalSonal from AuraOfThoughts
    #MyFriendAlexa #MeenalSonalReads

    1. In a way, selfie addicts are disrespecting their privacy.

    • vartikasdiary1 on September 12, 2018 at 11:45
    • Reply

    This is so frightening. Didn’t know “selfie”, which sounds just a click, may lead to even death…

    1. ‘Kill-fie’ is a newly coined word, to denote such circumstances.

    • shri.krishna.sharma on September 12, 2018 at 11:49
    • Reply

    Very true. Other than possible mental disorders, so many accidental deaths have been caused due to taking risk for taking exclusive selfies.

    1. Exactly. there should be guidelines.

    • richa mina on September 12, 2018 at 12:51
    • Reply

    that’s scary i never knew Selfie would be coined in medical history as Selfie Disorder…

    1. It’s an obsession for many.

    • Mann (@Munkaun) on September 12, 2018 at 13:13
    • Reply

    sharing pics on social media may be addicting but I am not too much into selfies!!! Thank God. But yeah I see it all around. Thanks for letting people think about a trend that may lead to health issues.
    #mannreads

    1. it’s really scary.

  16. So true.

  17. I never knew the term “selfie elbow” existed. I have never understood the obsession with selfies. I for one, am not a fan of it. How the world has gone crazy about it, I never understood. This is an insightful post about the dangers about this obsession. Thanks for the share!

    1. some people are really obsessed about clicking selfies.

    • Prerna Wahi on September 12, 2018 at 13:37
    • Reply

    Well written piece. Sad reality I’m today’a world!

    1. Thank You

    • Priyal on September 12, 2018 at 13:44
    • Reply

    Totally agree excess of everything is not good and put ur life into dangerous zone just to click a selfie is madness. People should be careful about this

    • Anchal on September 12, 2018 at 14:04
    • Reply

    This is an interesting read. I had no idea this can be a disorder

    1. too much of something isn’t good.

  18. I’ve never heard of Selfitis before – this is quite extreme.

    1. true that. people need to check these kinds of obsession.

    • Anks on September 12, 2018 at 14:26
    • Reply

    I don’t think clicking selfies to capture moments is a disorder, the whole anxiety of am I looking perfect, will I get social validation is the trouble.

    1. true that. while clicking selfies…they forget to enjoy the moment.

    • Disha on September 12, 2018 at 14:38
    • Reply

    If I remember correctly, India is one of the major contributor to selfie related deaths. What began as a fun thing is turning deadly with people doing dangerous stunts just for the sake of likes on social media.

    1. You are absolutely right…

  19. I never knew selfie could lead to an addiction. The news about selfie deaths is getting more and more frequent these days too.

    1. True that.

  20. This is becoming a serious obsession. Anything beyond moderation is not good.An important post relevant to the times we live in.

    1. Agreed!

  21. It’s really sad this selfie addiction. Any monument you visit, people are more interested in taking selfies than actually enjoying the moment. In India, how many lives are lost every year because of this addiction. Glad you wrote on it.

    1. Various studies have pointed out that India tops the list followed by Russia.

    • Neha Sharma on September 12, 2018 at 15:24
    • Reply

    I have heard and read a lot of cases of death and severe injuries related to selfie obsession. But I never knew there are certain physical & mental disorders associated with selfie addiction. Addictions are never good. Nice post!

    1. Well, too much of anything isn’t good.

    • Priyanka Naik on September 12, 2018 at 15:53
    • Reply

    Haha…Your post makes perfect sense. Earlier termed ‘Selfitis’ (or was that a word we coined?) , the selfie addiction continues to plague young minds on social media.
    Also, there was the ‘selfie stick’ to avoid the problem of selfie elbow. I had got one too (the selfie stick, I mean) only to dump it in one corner of my wardrobe. I guess I am just not that much of a selfie’ish person 😉

    1. Same here… few years back, someone gifted me a selfie stick. Used it for a day, clicked 2 to 3 photographs and it is lying in my cupboard since then.

  22. Selfies obsession can lead to lot more than mental disorders, it is even making people lose their lives! What I find alarming is the increasing selfie craze amongst teenagers and youngsters which is rapidly going to the chronic stage.

    1. Exactly. New guidelines are to formulated to tackle this situation.

    • Priya on September 12, 2018 at 16:08
    • Reply

    A few days ago, we happened to cross bandra band stand. And I noticed all the people were busy clicking selfies. Sooner people realize, the better.

    1. agreed

  23. Hehe i too had similar post on my blog long back and yes its new disorder but people still love it..but there has to be limit to everything.. Recently i saw monk died n people were taking selfie with his dead body… Now common u cant go that much low yaar

    1. Sometimes, their selfie craze makes them forget their basic values and ethics.

    • pythoroshan on September 12, 2018 at 16:34
    • Reply

    I actually had not updated myself about this. Thanks for the detailed post

    1. Thanks for your kind words.

    • Kalpana on September 12, 2018 at 17:39
    • Reply

    It’s really a bit much, the amount people pose for pictures – more than being in the moment, they think about what it will look like on their instagram. And what about the people who fall of buildings and the roofs of trains in their craze for the perfect selfie.

    1. Their quest for doing something different makes them forget everything.

    • ☆Novemberschild☆ (@romspeaks) on September 12, 2018 at 17:59
    • Reply

    If you take six or more selfies per day, you’ve got it bad.

    1. Borderline – if more than 3.

  24. Completely agree. They should be termed as the Digital Age Disease. Have seen people falling into pits while taking selfies 😀 😀
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

    1. oops. ‘Clicking Selfies can be injurious to health’ 😀

  25. OMG!!! So much things are there behind SELFIE?? Its really enlightening share. SUPERB!!!!

    1. Thanks for your kind words.

    • Nupur Maskara (@nuttynupur) on September 12, 2018 at 18:20
    • Reply

    Selfies are changing our mindset for the worse.

    1. People are busy clicking selfies only.

    • Shree Janani on September 12, 2018 at 18:28
    • Reply

    Talk about it. It’s annoying when the person next to clicks away every second of you life without minding if you are in the frame or expecting them to keep proper company. Sigh!

    1. Sometimes they do forget to respect others’ privacy.

    • zainab on September 12, 2018 at 18:37
    • Reply

    Selfie deaths are really the worst. At times we lose senses.

    1. they forget about their surroundings.

    • Surbhi on September 12, 2018 at 18:55
    • Reply

    Very relevant in today’s time! Instead of enjoying the moment, you see most people busy with selfies now… ruins the moment sometimes, doesn’t it?

    1. Absolutely right… Totally agree with you on that.

    • Sanjota Purohit on September 12, 2018 at 19:07
    • Reply

    I’m a selfie bee! I’m I addicted ? 😀
    No not yet!

    1. Haha… That’s great.

  26. Selfies are not entitled to a specific gender or age group and yes social media is the reason where everyone wants to be no less than any celebrity.

    1. Everyone is running after likes and comments

    • Ruby Singh on September 12, 2018 at 19:46
    • Reply

    The selfie fever has gone really far.

    1. it needs to be cured ASAP.

    • Dr. Surbhi Prapanna on September 12, 2018 at 20:02
    • Reply

    I agree with you on all the point. in fact I had seen this kind of mental behaviour in practical life too. thanks for sharing more details about it. it is a high time to stop this selfie, smartphone and social media addiction

    1. Guidelines are to be formulated.

    • momlearningwithbaby on September 12, 2018 at 20:31
    • Reply

    Selfie addition is a serious concern. Enlightening post. Have been hearing cases of accidents due to carelessness or selfie-obsession.
    #MyFriendAlexa #Momlearningwithbaby #Blogchatter

    1. Yes, it is.

    • mylittleduniya on September 12, 2018 at 20:39
    • Reply

    True.. Selifie addiction is making people Psycho

    1. It needs to be handled systematically.

  27. I remember of reading certain news article that mentioned that college kids lost lives due to selfie addiction. Its really. This is really a much needed post.

    1. Such kind of news is very disturbing.

    • Adi Sathe on September 12, 2018 at 21:46
    • Reply

    Hey, it was very informative read!!! Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks for your kind words.

    • Sonam Jain on September 12, 2018 at 21:52
    • Reply

    I agree it’s like social media addiction . We need to find ways ourselves to overcome it

    1. and that too very quickly

    • Deepti Menon on September 12, 2018 at 21:58
    • Reply

    Selfies have become the ‘in’ thing today. A selfie addiction can be serious, especially when it pushes the person into dangerous situations. Thank you for this pertinent post. #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

    1. Wonder how people can put their life at risk to click a selfie.

    • arv! on September 12, 2018 at 22:21
    • Reply

    Some say that that it is due to poor self image! Others disagree. But it seems to be on a rise

    1. it needs to be checked ASAP.

    • Vandana Mathur on September 12, 2018 at 22:50
    • Reply

    We hear so many cases of how some people lost their lives while taking selfies. This obsession does not allow us to enjoy the moment because we are only engrossed in taking pictures.

    1. They believe in capturing those moments but not in living those moments.

    • Milan on September 12, 2018 at 22:57
    • Reply

    Anything which becomes obsession is dangerous. loved reading your views and insights on this latest addiction of taking selfies

    1. Thank You

  28. Such a thoughtful post. #sindhureads #myfriendalexa

    1. Thank You

  29. You’ve taken up really interesting topics in this series. Some scholars believe screen and selfie addiction could actually be added to the DSM in its next revision. Scary when you think about it.

    1. I’m already in the process of posting something on screen addiction. Stay Tuned!

    • alpanadeo on September 13, 2018 at 00:32
    • Reply

    Selfie addiction can lead to mental disorder is so upsetting. People should wake up and stop becoming technology dependent.
    #MothersGurukulreads #Myfriendalexa

    1. they should start enjoying life in reality.

  30. I find it so weird and funny when I see people around me clicking selfies nonstop – at malls, at airports, at parks. I don’t like selfies, and probably take them very rarely! It’s saddening to know that it’s a disorder for some!

    1. I have seen people stopping in the middle of nowhere to click a selfie.

    • Preeti's Panorama on September 13, 2018 at 01:32
    • Reply

    Extremity of anything is bad and that holds true for this as well. I have seen selfie addiction among teenagers and young adults. The sad reality is that they will either stress themselves out for not getting that perfect selfie or throw caution to the wind and risk their own lives for that one stupid selfie.

    1. Their only concern is doing something different to get more likes on social media.

  31. Insightful post! The selfie addiction has definitely gone beyond one can imagine! People risking their lives for it is way too much! Hope people get aware of its ill effects and take action.

    1. I really hope so.

    • Haimanti on September 13, 2018 at 10:59
    • Reply

    Thanks for such a relevant post… I have been surrounded by friends who can be termed as ‘selfie addicts’ .. Rather than enjoying a moment they’ll rather click selfies or photographs! I seriously fail to understand the obsession .. Maybe I am too old… You have put across the cons of this addiction in a very simple and understandable manner…

    1. When someone becomes obsessed with something, they simply don’t want to see the negative aspects.

  32. I too feel it has become more of addiction than enjoying the moment.

    1. Agree with you.

  33. I am guilty too

    1. Hey, just follow a few small steps and throw away the addiction.

  34. Now it’s common to see this addiction to everyone around. All time people are busy with their phones.. #hellomomyread #myfriendalexa

  35. Taking selfies is just another manifestation how self-obsessed and narcissistic we are!

    1. Totally agree with you on that.

    • Rohan Kachalia on September 13, 2018 at 14:34
    • Reply

    I am glad that I do not fall in any of the above three levels mentioned. But it’s sad that the selfie craze is on rise and resulting in lots if deaths.

    1. That’s great, Rohit! You continue with your track record!

    • pooja budhiraja on September 13, 2018 at 15:42
    • Reply

    very true. excess of any habit is bad.

    #myfriendalexa #poseinstylereads

    1. Agree with you on that

  36. There was a time when people on my FB Timeline went absolutely mad and post 30 selfies a day from weird places – washroom, lift, bed. Good selfies once is a while makes sense but to over do is a torture on others too. Yes it is a mental disorder people need to realise.

    1. and also those filters…

  37. I knew madness to click selfies had costed many life but it’s new to know it can be related to mental disorder.

    1. anything in excess isn’t good

  38. I can’t understand why are mad for selfie. They look at themselves everyday in the mirror.#msarorasays #myfriendalexa

    1. True that!

    • Humaira Sadaf on September 13, 2018 at 23:55
    • Reply

    Amazing and inspiring post. Selfie-addiction leads to health problems. Great thoughts.

    1. Thank you for the kind words.

  39. I knew it!! Selfie thing has to have some mental consequence! God! I cringe at the number of selfies people take 🙂 I think soon we will have rehab for this too 🙂

    1. digital detox centres have started coming up

    • Neha Jain on September 14, 2018 at 00:37
    • Reply

    Strange but that bitter truth no one wants to accept

    1. exactly!

  40. Just like addiction of cell phone, selfie addiction is a growing disorder. I find people dont enjoy the moment in clicking the best selfie. Recently I attended an event where everyone was busy in taking selfie with others and after that no one was talking to each other. THat was so strange. Selfie Mania is a big issue in todays time.

    1. these people forget to live the moment.

    • Maya Bhat on September 14, 2018 at 02:52
    • Reply

    Cell phone itself is a big trap and almost everyone have fallen in that trap like forever. I really don’t understand people’s obsession with selfie. I always prefer someone clicking my photo and vice versa. Self is only the last optiom

    1. Great option!

  41. Well said. These days, instead of enjoying great moments people are interested to capture them and show to the world

    1. they must realise that these moments won’t come back.

    • Geethica on September 14, 2018 at 22:49
    • Reply

    Getting famous on social media with maximum likes and comments or shares has actually become a mental disorder. Every other person wants to be famous this way little realizing its after effects.

    1. true that!

    • Dipika Singh on September 14, 2018 at 23:39
    • Reply

    Selfie is becoming latest addiction and has also claimed many young lives because of unsafe selfie’s. Good that you raised this point here through your blog.

    1. thanks for your kind words

  42. i can say , i think personally that its mental disorder.

    1. they need to get rid of it ASAP.

    • Lancelot (@Lanzomaniac) on September 15, 2018 at 09:53
    • Reply

    Well, this is not surprising. The levels are very clear. Clicking selfies was for fun but yes there are some who will find flaws within their looks and this is not good for their own self worth!

    1. that’s why they use filters before they post it on their profiles.

    • Anmol Rawat on September 15, 2018 at 19:21
    • Reply

    I quite agree with you!

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

    • Anubhuti on September 16, 2018 at 16:55
    • Reply

    Enlightening post…yes..social media has definitely has more cons visible than the pros….

    1. depends on how we use it.

  43. This is actually true addiction of anything is really bad and for pics and selfies really bad

    • Manpreet on September 26, 2018 at 20:57
    • Reply

    I am happy that I am not addicted to selfie but I kind of want to click more selfie… they make quick content for your Instagram profile and when u r aiming to post once a day there… and u dont have content or time… selfies help 😀

    1. True that. 😀

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