Are you obsessed with taking selfies? Chances are you might have “selfitis” — a genuine mental condition that makes a person feel compelled to constantly take photos and post them on social media, psychologists say.
The term has been around since 2014 to describe obsessive selfie-taking but has not been backed by science until now.
Researchers from Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management investigated the term and discovered six motivating factors. Experts have even developed a “Selfitis Behaviour Scale” to assess how badly a person’s condition is.
Those who suffer from selfitis are generally seeking to boost their confidence, seek attention, improve their mood, make memories, conform with their social group and be socially competitive.
The scale, which runs from one to 100, was based on a focus group of 200 people from India.
The focus group was held in India because the country has the highest number of Facebook users and also the highest number of deaths from trying to take a selfie in a dangerous location.
Dr. Mark Griffiths, a professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University, said: “A few years ago, stories appeared in the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.
“We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world’s first Selfitis Behavior Scale to assess the condition.”
Here’s how you can tell if you have ‘selfitis’. Answer the following 20 questions on a scale of one to five, where five is strongly agree and one is strongly disagree.
Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment
Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues
I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media
I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies
I feel confident when I take a selfie
I in more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfies and share them on social media
I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies
Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status
I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media
Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy
I become more positive about myself when I take selfies
I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings
Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience
I post frequent selfies to get more ‘likes’ and comments on social media
By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me
Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood
I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence
When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group
I take selfies as trophies for future memories
I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others