Social media and the mobile web have given rise to a strange phenomenon called the selfie. It’s usually taken by activating the front-facing camera on most smartphones, holding the smartphone out in front of yourself with one arm, and snapping a photograph. Anyone who has a smartphone has the power to take a selfie.
Now the question is why has selfie become such a phenomena?
The power of the selfie lies in its ability to build connections between those in front of the camera and those viewing the pictures. This power contributes to not only the growth but the staying power of this form of personal marketing. The desire to capture one’s image stretches back to the beginning of time. From cave drawings to self-portraits, the fascination with our likeness and the way we share ourselves with others continuously morphs to keep up with and drive technology. Perhaps it serves as a vehicle for connection in the digital age — maybe it allows individuals to witness an intimate moment in time.
James Franco, actor/director/teacher/author, wrote about selfies for the New York Times. As a celebrity who prominently and frequently uses Instagram, he probably earns his title of the “Selfie King” anyone can log into his account and see an abundance of up close and personal photographs. Selfies yield attention and attention is power, he notes.
And, the “celebrity selfie” gives the public a peek into a private, candid moment. It bridges the gap between an unattainable icon and a regular human being.
Overall, Franco advocates that the selfie can be used as a tool to share yourself with others; it’s a visual that conveys what you’re doing, where you are and what you’re feeling.
“I’m actually turned off when I look at an account and don’t see any selfies, because I want to know who I’m dealing with,” he said. “In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, ‘Hello this is me.’”
“We all have different reasons for posting them,” Franco said. “But, in the end, selfies are avatars: Mini-me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are.”
Selfies are a fun way of connecting with your friends and family, plus they’re a relatively healthy way of tooting your own horn—as long as you don’t let it get out of hand, that is. Once you start obsessing over your selfies and neglecting every other area of your life, that’s when you’ve got a problem. The obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy which is also known as “selfitis”
Defined as an “obsessive taking of selfies,” selfitis is a mental disorder which is also associated with narcissism, studies suggests that narcissists are more likely to show off with selfies and make extra effort to look their best in these photos.
Honestly! We’re all guilty of taking arbitrary selfies: of our new hairdo, a stylish manicure, our night on the town, or a brand new outfit that’s on fleek.
Sharing these photos is a great way to express how good we feel about ourselves or let’s be honest to brag about the unique experiences we’ve had. It’s painfully clear to the rest of us that the entire point of every selfie you post is to grub as much attention as you can get from social media, you want to show the world how good you look. And let’s be honest, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, there are always those handy Instagram filters to fix our flaws.
So as we sit and think taking selfies is harmless we must know there’s a fine line between vanity and our mental health. Yes! Selfitis is classified as a genuine mental illness. There are three strains of the condition “borderline”, “acute” and “chronic”.
Borderline selfitis: you take three selfies a day but don’t post them online, you might fall under the ‘borderline Selfitis’. Yes, as little as three a day could be a problem.
Acute selfitis: acute Selfitis is taking the same amount of selfies a day as the borderline strain (three) but for those that post the selfies online.
Chronic selfitis: The most severe strain of the condition occurs when people have an almost ‘uncontrollable urge’ to take selfies and post them online more than six times a day.
So If you think you’re becoming a bit too attached to taking selfies, it might be a good idea to put the phone down for a while or take selfies in moderation.
All in all, there is nothing wrong with sharing your confidence and positivity with the world through selfies but remember that who you are is much more than what is on the surface. Others opinions of your selfies should not have a significant impact on how you live your life, despite how engaging social media is. Everyone can appreciate someone who is selfless and caring, and these qualities are usually most apparent in people with a solid sense of self-confidence and self worth. Growing as a person and cultivating a healthy self-image is separate from the attention we get from others. Seeking a balance in your social media presence may seem challenging at first, but is a rewarding approach to these new and exciting ways to communicate.