Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Back in 2014, there was a fake news piece that called obsessive-selfie-taking ‘Selfitis’.

This story seemed to come true when researchers in India recently conducted a study to find out that taking a lot of selfies actually shows that people suffer from a mental health disorder.

The study uncovered interesting facts, which showed that excessive-selfie-taking might actually indicate something wrong with a person’s mental health. The person might actually be suffering from Selfitis.

The researchers even developed a Selfitis behaviour scale to figure out the severity of a case. They referred to this scale while surveying 400 people. All the participants of the survey were from India because research shows that India has the largest number of Facebook users.

India also has the highest number of deaths as a result of taking selfies in dangerous locations.

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The findings that were published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction confirmed three levels of Selfitis:

  • Preliminary stage: People who take three selfies a day, but don’t post them online
  • Acute stage: People who post three selfies online in a day
  • Chronic stage: Urge to take selfies all the time and post at least six selfies a day

The researchers found that typical Selfitis sufferers were attention seekers, they often lack self-confidence, and hoping to boost their social standing as part of a group by constantly posting images of themselves.

The Selfitis behaviour scale has 20 statements, which could be used to figure out the Selfitis by rating how much you agreed with a sentiment.

Here are sentiments you might experience if you have 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 a selfie and share it 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 of 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