Scientists link selfies to narcissism,addiction and mental illness
You must have seen it more times than you could possibly count- on Facebook and other social media sites, a song was even released about it! Selfies have indeed become a big trend in social media, leading mental health workers to take a close look at this phenomenon. Psychiatrist now suggest that there is a link between selfies, narcissism and a person’s obsession with their looks.
Psychiatrist Dr David Veal said that two out of three of all patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, who have paid him visits since the advent of camera phones, have been from people who have a compulsion to take numerous pictures of themselves to post on social media sites.
He told the Sunday Mirror that cognitive behavior theraphy is employed to help patients know why they have compulsive behavior and show them ways to moderate it.
Some of my friends are plagued with this malady. They take different selfies repeatedly till they finally settle for one they are comfortable with. They pay very close details to their appearance, all in an attempt to get the perfect pose for a perfect picture. Take a close look at the way most of us put so much effort in selecting a profile picture for social media sites. It may appear harmless, but this habit builds up over time, giving us a false sense of confidence and making us extremely self conscious. Instead of being content with our personality, we strenuously try to get the right picture with all the perfect details.
We let our happiness be determined by how many likes we get on social media sites. Letting your happiness be based on our profile picture or selfie picture performance is a practice that cannot be maintained. It could wear you out over time.
So just how far can this selfie obsession go? A British male teenager almost committed suicide after he came to the realization that he couldn’t take the perfect selfie. Danny Bowman developed an obsession for taking the perfect selfie that he devoted up to 10 hours daily to take 200 selfies, just to get the perfect picture. As issues became more extreme, Danny lost 30 pounds, dropped out of school, and stayed indoors for six months, while trying to take the perfect shot. His mum came to his rescue when he tried to take his own life.
He told the Mirror that after trying without success to take the perfect selfie, all he wanted to do was die. He said this took a toll on his health, friends left him, and he almost lost his life.
Although this might seem like an extreme case, this is certainly what goes on in the minds of most people- both young and old. They compare their looks with others and over time, an obsession is developed as their looks become increasingly important to them. I feel our looks shouldn’t be something we focus all our energies on.
Narcissism, which is a condition of being obsessed with getting recognized and gratified from ones looks, vanity and in an egotistical way, is fast becoming a big issue in today’s digital world. I feel this arises out of judgement of self, others and pop culture. The educational system has done little to tackle these issues, focusing more on educating people to become trained members of society, and not on their personal development.
Health professional in Thailand are alarmed at this addiction to selfies. Panpimol Wipulakorn, of the Thai Mental Health Department said that paying close attention to published photos, determining who sees, likes or comments on them, all in the hopes of reaching the highest number of likes is a sign that selfies are posing problems. He believed that these could pose more serious problems in the future, especially with regards to lack of self confidence.
So, the next time you post a selfie on a social media site, observe yourself and find out how much of your focus is on your looks and what others think of you. Then work on accepting yourself for who you are, without the need to seek self-love from your external environment. You are certainly much more than your looks.
Source: Collective Evolution