Recently there is a report claiming that the American Psychiatric Association has officially classified a person’s desire to take selfies as a mental disorder. The story, picked up by news outlets, quickly went viral. Amused that the social media annoyance now has a name, selfie-hating Facebook users shared the article while selfie fans defended their right to take as many awkward photos of themselves as they can without being judged.
According to the article there are Three Levels of Selfie Mental Disorder:
- Borderline Selfitis – taking at least three photos a day without posting them online.
- Acute Selfitis – three pictures a day and posting them all on social media.
- Chronic Selfitis – an uncontrollable urge to take selfies and posting more than six a day.
Sounds very serious but the thing is, this story wasn’t true at all.It first appeared on Adobo Chronicles, a Philippine-based parody news site. So it’s just another internet hoax probably created to pissed off those people who takes and posts waaayyy too many selfies. But in behalf of the person/ people who started this hoax, I think they just went to the point of “annoyed as hell” seeing someone’s face more than 20 times a day til night.
Actually, if Instgram or even Facebook already exists when I was in high school I am surely definitely 100% one of these annoying people who post a handful of selfies a day. In fact back
in the day when I was in my third year in high school, when the word “selfie” does not exists yet but we call it “vanity shot” or self portrait, my guy friends doesn’t get at all why I keep shooting photos of myself with my Sony Ericson Cybershot Phone and post an entire album full of it in my Friendster account. (my gawd! 2007 was a LONG TIME AGO!) My reason back then is just simple, I like what I look that day, I want to keep a record of it and a new profile photo, period, since there are no such thing as “likes” in Friendster.
Back to 2014, taking a selfie is harmless but like everything else in the world, it has its up and down side. Selfie Mental Disorder may not be true but it’s still unfortunately causing some young women’s self esteem to decline. There are recent real reports that selfie are causing young women to get more plastic surgeries but then there is also a research that taking a selfie is a natural form of self-expression, selfies can actually prove very healthy — even empowering. A survey conducted by the Today Show just last month found that 65 percent of teen girls think selfies boost their confidence.
“(P)eople’s relationship to selfies are as varied as their relationship to putting on clothes to leave the house,” the researcher danah boyd said at the time. “Both clothing and selfies are useful tools for negotiating identity.”
There are two lessons here: 1) think before you post. Verify the facts before reposting anything “big” –but I thought it was pretty funny. And 2) too much of everything is bad, yes, even in taking selfies.