You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Is your selfie obsession damaging your health?

Netdoctor (UK) logo Netdoctor (UK) 31/01/2018 Jenny Cook

Taking too many selfies could be bad for your health, according to research © William Perugini / Getty Taking too many selfies could be bad for your health, according to research Are you obsessed with taking selfies? Well, according to science, you could be suffering from 'selfitis' - a genuine 'psychological complex' that seriously affects your mental health. 

Although the term was first developed back in 2014 as part of a spoof news story, scientists have now confirmed that such a phenomenon exists, and they've even developed a Selfitis Behaviour Scale to help mobile users identify symptoms and assess the condition. 

The study

Researchers asked 400 participants from India (the country that has the most Facebook users) to complete a questionnaire. Using a scale of one for 'strongly disagree' to five for 'strongly agree', individuals responded to statements such as 'sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues' and 'I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media'. 

From here, the Selfitis Behaviour Scale was developed to determine how severely people are affected by various negative thoughts and feelings associated with taking selfies. Researcher Dr Janarthanan Balakrishnan said:

"Typically, those with the condition suffer from a lack of self-confidence and are seeking to 'fit in' with those around them, and may display symptoms similar to other potentially addictive behaviours."

Dr Balakrishnan added:

"Now the existence of the condition appears to have been confirmed, it is hoped that further research will be carried out to understand more about how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behaviour, and what can be done to help people who are the most affected."

This comes after other phone-related disorders, such as phone separation anxiety and 'nomophobia' were also identified via research.

a woman sitting on a table © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)

Testing for selfitis

Find out whether you're suffering from the effects of selfitis using the scale below. Rate the statements below from 1-5, where 5 is strongly agree, and 1 is strongly disagree. The higher your score, the greater the likelihood is that you suffer from selfitis...

  1. Taking selfies gives me a good feeling to better enjoy my environment.
  2. Sharing my selfies creates healthy competition with my friends and colleagues.
  3. I gain enormous attention by sharing my selfies on social media.
  4. I am able to reduce my stress level by taking selfies.
  5. I feel confident when I take a selfie.
  6. I gain more acceptance among my peer group when I take selfies and share them on social media.
  7. I am able to express myself more in my environment through selfies.
  8. Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status.
  9. I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media.
  10. Taking more selfies improves my mood and makes me feel happy.
  11. I become more positive about myself when I take selfies.
  12. I become a strong member of my peer group through selfie postings.
  13. Taking selfies provides better memories about the occasion and the experience.
  14. I post frequent selfies to get more 'likes' and comments on social media.
  15. By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me.
  16. Taking selfies instantly modifies my mood.
  17. I take more selfies and look at them privately to increase my confidence.
  18. When I don't take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group.
  19. I take selfies as trophies for future memories.
  20. I use photo editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others.

The study was published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

For more of the most popular News, Sport, Lifestyle & Entertainment on MSN, Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Netdoctor

Netdoctor (UK)
Netdoctor (UK)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon