Let’s face it – we’ve all taken a selfie at some time or another. But are you one of those people who post selfies every minute of every day? You might be shocked to know that research has shown that taking endless pics of yourself is a sign of something more psychological than showing off. Let’s explore and see if taking all those selfies means we just really like ourselves, or if there’s something darker breathing underwater.
You Don’t Know How Good You Look
Psychiatrist David Veale says that taking selfies may indicate that a person has a distorted view of how they look. “‘Taking selfies is not an addiction – it’s a symptom of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) that involves checking one’s appearance,” he claims. But is that all there is? Of course not! Otherwise, millions of people would be suffering from BDD!
Selfies Make You Depressed
British teenager Danny Bowman attempted suicide after failing to get his “perfect” selfie – despite taking hundreds every day. “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t, I wanted to die,” he added, proving that for some folks it is a symptom of a darker issue seeping through.
You Need Others’ Approval
One of the reasons people post selfies is to make OTHER people think they look good. A study by Cornell University concluded that selfies help to “validate one’s self-concept and self-value by increasing social approval, social acceptance, and general liking.”
You Feel Flawed
People who take a lot of selfies feel bad about their appearance and constantly need to ‘check’ how they look. “Preoccupation with selfies can be a visible indicator of a young person with a lack of confidence or sense of self that might make him or her a victim of other problems as well,” says Director of the Media Psychology Research Centre Dr Pamela Rutledge.
You Need An Ego Boost
You’re feeling low – so you take a selfie. Studies show that that might make you more susceptible to “self-favoring bias”, which in turn allows you to overestimate how good you look. Why? Because you’re constantly looking at a controlled version of you, the selfies you choose and select to keep.
You’re So Vain
A 2015 study in an issue of Personality and Individual Differences showed that selfie-takers perceived themselves as more attractive and likable in their selfies than in other people’s photos. However, non-selfie-takers tend to view both types of photos equally and were more at peace because of it.
You’re A Narcissist
The term ‘narcissist’ comes from the legend of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. When he realized he was looking at himself and couldn’t be in love with what he saw, he died. Hum yikes!
It’s In Your Blood
Another 2015 study conducted by Eric Weiser found that narcissistic personality traits including leadership/authority and grandiose exhibitionism were linked to selfie posting, while entitlement/exploitativeness was not.
You Follow the Crowd
Check Instagram and Facebook for the tag ‘self’ or ‘selfie’. There are thousands! Sometimes, people follow the trends in order to feel included. Are you blindly following the crowd or do you seriously need validation from all those selfies you post online?
Your Mirror is Your Smartphone
Before camera phones, those with Body Dismorphic Disorder repeatedly checked their appearance in the mirror. Today, sufferers use their smartphone – and share the result with the world.
You’re A Gen-Y
Psychologists have identified a rise in eating disorders and mental illness among the youngest generation and have linked this to self-taking. Dr Linda Papadopoulos says selfies are about “how should I edit myself, cut myself up… so you’ll consume me in a way that’s pleasurable to you? Rather than me liking who I am.”
You’re a Lonely Soul
Those who snap a lot of selfies may be trying to fill a void in their life. Researcher Dr Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol found that individuals who report a higher degree of loneliness also report a higher rate of selfie-taking and spend a lot of time on the net.
No Selfie, No Happy
A sure sign of addiction is if you feel selfie-taking is a HUGE part of your life. Those addicted to self-snapping constantly look for places to whip out their phone and get upset if they can’t snap!
You Need Other People
Those who need social relationships have a higher motivation to take selfies. A different study found that people who are more agreeable and extroverted are more likely to be pinging the pics.
You’re a Control Freak!
Are you dressing up for fun, or because you want to show the world how good you are at altering your appearance? Narcissists enjoy dressing and adorning themselves because it allows them to be in full control of how they look in their own photos.