Are You Suffering from Selfitis?
Age: Three years old.
Appearance: Chin up, lips out, zero attention span.
This sounds like it might be an illness. Correct, it absolutely is. A joint study by Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management has proved it beyond all doubt.
But what is it? A condition that causes people to post too many selfies on the internet.
I mean, that hardly sounds like cholera. But it might be just as dangerous. Did you know that 36 people have genuinely died from taking selfies this year alone? Some fell in rivers and drowned, others were hit by trains. One was trampled by an elephant.
What does that have to do with selfitis? Maybe if these people had spent less time taking selfies and more time looking around for rampaging elephants, they would still be with us.
Now I’m scared. Give it to me straight: do I have selfitis? I’m pleased you asked. The study has developed the Selfitis Behaviour Scale to help diagnose those who think they might suffer from selfitis. All you have to do is assign the following statements with a value between one and five.
OK, shoot. “I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media.”
Five. “By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me.”
Five. “When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group.” “Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status.” “I use photo-editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others.”
Five five five. Oh boy, sounds like you might just be a chronic case.
What does that mean? According to the research, it means that you’re likely to balance low self-confidence with obsessive attention-seeking, and you hope that by compulsively detailing the minutiae of your life online, you will somehow feel like part of a larger group that doesn’t necessarily exist.
Well duh. Yeah, I know, me too.
Is there any treatment available? Not yet, but I suppose we could just put our phones down for a second and experience the real world in the moment. Ha, no, just kidding.
Do say: “I can’t come to work today. As you can see on Instagram, I’m suffering from a nasty bout of selfitis.”
Don’t say: “Finally, proof that anyone who owns a selfie stick is unwell.”