Smartphone addiction is becoming an increasing concern, leading us into difficulties sleeping, navigating work assignments, and disrupting our relationships with friends and family. With technology apps like Instagram, we are invited to take part in sharing our personal stories at any given moment through the act of taking selfies. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.” A 2014 fake news story stated that a real mental condition has arose from excessive use of this, and now psychologists and researchers are looking further into “selfitis”.

Forbes Magazine covers an interesting study conducted by researchers from India and the U.K.; They created a scale to determine whether a person suffers from “selfitis” – “an addiction of taking and posting selfies on social media”. The survey, called the Selfitis Behavior Scale, consisted of statements that students would rate, such as “I feel I am lost when my friends get more likes and comments for selfies than me”, “Sometimes taking selfies helps me to come out of any depressive thoughts”, or “I spend at least twenty minutes editing and grooming the picture before uploading it in social media”. Depending on a person’s score, they may be classified as having borderline, acute, or chronic selfitis.  

In general, individuals with this unclassified disorder typically seek a boost in confidence, attention, improvement in mood, memories made, conformity within their social group, and social competition. While it originally began as a hoax, “selfitis” was believed all over the world because the dimensions of it are rather real.

Researchers are continuing to look further into this phenomenon, and it could one day be classified as an actual condition. All jokes aside, this topic brings to light an important issue that many don’t want to address – the fact that many of us are using our phones way too much, and it’s taking us away from living our lives, in real time. The next time you pick up your phone, think actively and critically about what you are using it for and if there are other things that deserve your attention. The truth is, there probably are.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you or your loved one is ready to begin treatment, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.


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