Last week it seemed like everyone were going crazy when they learned that the American Psychiatric Association made it official that taking selfies and posting them online was a mental disorder. My immediate reaction was scepticism. It wasn’t until 1973 that APA managed to declassify being gay as a mental illness, so how could they possibly declare “Selfitis” as a disease within the short span of time since the word first surfaced? When I thought about all the wholes in the article, I realized it was a parody and just had to laugh.
According to Adobo Chronicles, which is the blog the article was posted on, there are three levels of the disorder Selfitis;
- Borderline selfitis : taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media
- Acute selfitis: taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media
- Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day
To top this, the article also stated that there is currently no cure for the disorder. On the bottom of the article, they’re stating that several phone companies are to remove the front camera of their phones.
And all of this got me thinking….
How unlikely is it that obsessive behavior towards social media is a mental disease? Not necessarily that you’re ill if you post more than 3 selfies a day, but if you are obsessed with likes or posting things instantly? Many people that I know have their lives on social media, and being a blogger, I’m not far from it myself. However, it scares me when I see friends standing out in the cold to post something on Facebook rather than waiting until we get somewhere inside. Or people that want to hang out with you, but end up sitting on Facebook or checking Instagram every 5 minutes?
And then to the picture taking; if a blogger, such as the gorgeous Kayture, posts 5 pictures on an average, does that make her ill or does it mean she’s doing her job? I also have friends on social medias that keep posting pictures of themselves constantly, and it is a little worrying. Maybe the article isn’t so far from the truth after all? But also, what is the difference between people who are posting selfies and people who get pictures taken? Wouldn’t getting other people taking pictures of you be the step further as you are forcing others into your obsession? Or does it mean that you’re sane because you’re getting decent pictures of yourself instead of lowlight and grainy pictures with an arm in the corner?
Hopefully, sometime within the next 10 years, APA will recognize a more thorough mental disorder linked to social media, and I’m sure Selfitis won’t be it. So to make a point, I will post some of my favorite selfies from 2014. And I will post more than 3. Call me crazy, call me sane or call me sick, I’m doing it. After all, what would the world be without selfies?