Words by Isabelle Cameron
WITH the rising popularity of the recent ‘selfie’ phenomenon, a number of studies have surfaced in an attempt to explain the psyche behind the average-selfie- taking-Joe. The old adage that a picture ‘speaks a thousand words’ may hold true, as these studies suggest that under the surface, the selfie could be sign of something more deep and meaningful.
There is no doubt that we are in the age of the ‘Selfie’. Years from now, part-robotic future art students will surely study this art of self-portrait coined by the snap-happy generations of the 21st century.
Obama takes selfies, James Franco takes selfies, Ellen Degeneres and co. take selfies and we all know you are just a selfie-queen, you.
So without further-ado, below is a list of things your selfie habit might be saying about you:
You may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Experts have linked selfie taking to a mental illness that, according to the ‘Anxiety and Depression Association of America’, involves obsessing over the belief that there is a flaw in your appearance
Dr David Veale, a consultant psychiatrist at The Priory Hospital in London, said “taking selfies is not an addiction – it is a Body Dysmorphic Disorder symptom that involves checking one’s appearance,” and that, “two out of three of all patients who come to see [him] with BDD since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take and post selfies on social media sites.”
In the most extreme cases, sufferers from BDD could fret about their believed perceived flaws for hours, which can lead to thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
You want to show this big-bad Internet driven world who you are.
Selfies have been interpreted to be a positive way of ‘identity formation’. Social scientists see the selfie as a way of creating yourself and presenting yourself to the world.
James Franco, self-dubbed selfie king and resident genius defines selfies in an article for The New York Times and says “selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are.”
He concludes by saying “I am actually turned off when I look at an account and don’t see any selfies, because I want to know whom I’m dealing with. 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.’”
You are a modern narcissist.
The 21st century’s horde of Dorian Grays. Desperately trying to maintain a certain image of themselves: the selfie image.
This ties in with the phenomenon of the ‘reality tv show’ as posting a selfie on a social network and watching those ‘likes’ grow can make you feel like you are on a show yourself.
This can cause you to have a big head, so big, that you won’t fit into your next selfie.
So if you relate to that – if you fancy yourself a Kardashian every time you post a selfie – then I would recommend toning it down a notch and maybe reading a book instead – Dorian Gray perhaps?
I’m sure there are many more studies out there and many more still to come. After all, who knows how long the selfie storm will last?
I’m also sure that some people don’t fall under any category at all and do it just because it’s damn fun and you are damn fine.
Hope that was educational MoFos. Let your selfie-flags fly!