Monday, November 17, 2014


by Antonio C. Antonio
November 11, 2014

A “selfie” is a self-portrait photograph commonly taken with a hand-held digital camera or a camera phone.  Rather than use the timer function of the camera, selfies are often taken at arm’s length and made to appear that someone else took the photo.  Some selfies are also taken using a mirror.  These photographs are then uploaded on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Netizens, who have made careers out of shooting selfies and posting them on social media, are said to be suffering with a mental disorder called narcissism.  Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes.  Aside from being a mental disorder, narcissism is also considered a social and cultural problem and is considered as one of the dark triadic personalities, which are:

  • PSYCHOPATHY which is characterized by enduring antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness;
  • MACHIAVELLIANISM which is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others and a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception; and,
  • NARCISSISM which is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and the lack of empathy.

“The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has officially confirmed what many people thought all along: taking “selfies” is a mental disorder.  The APA made this classification during its annual board of directors meeting in Chicago, Illinois.  The disorder is called “selfitis”, and is defined as “the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy”.

APA said there are three levels of the disorder:
  1. BORDERLINE SELFITIS:  Taking photos on one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media;
  2. ACUTE SELFITIS:  Taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media; and,
  3. CHRONIC SELFITIS:  Uncontrolled urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.

According to the APA, while there is currently no cure for the disorder, temporary treatment is available through Cognitive Behavioral Theraphy (CBT).  But more than the cure for such mental disorder is the prevention of it.  In this day and age of social media, how do we really rid ourselves of any degree of selfitis?

Just my little thoughts…

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