A selfie is a gesture that can send different messages to different individuals,communities and audiences. On 13 September 2002,the word “selfie” was first time used in Australian internal forum.
More than 200,000 photographs are uploaded to Facebook every minute. Many of these photographs are selfies: snapshots we capture of ourselves.
Why do we take so many selfies and why do we upload our selfies to online social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat? To find out, psychologists from Germany and Poland tested the personalities of prolific selfie sharers.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE IMAGE
Doctors say that Selfitis (selfie-addiction) is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder to take one’s own pictures and post them on social media and broadly divided it into three types: Borderline (taking at least three pictures, but not posting them on social media), acute (taking at least three photos every day and posting them on social media) and chronic severe (taking at least six photos of oneself every day and posting them on social media).
FLIRTING WITH DANGER
For youngsters obsessed with self-clicks, the scary side of crazy fun has a thrill all its own. And courting danger has a whole different rush. “The higher I go, the more fun I have,” says an anonymous selfie-addict. He shares, “I can’t remember a time where I was ever afraid of heights. There’s so much adrenaline rushing through my body that I don’t fully realise what I’m doing. Sometimes I think back and say to myself, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’” He says that over the years he has used social media to shock, surprise and delight his friends and followers with aerial shots of the urban world. That means climbing rooftops and mountains and dangerous roads to get interesting snaps.
“Luckily, I get to travel a lot and that allows me to climb on several skyscrapers across the globe. While I am afraid that my parents would flip out if they got to know of craziest extents that I go to take pictures, I don’t think I can resist the urge to take a snap.” He says that sometimes he even surprises himself with how far he’s willing to go. He’s not afraid to tread narrow walkways and peer over the edge of some of the world’s tallest buildings for an extreme selfie.
“There was this one incident when I was booked by the police and got arrested with three of my friends in an abandoned building and charged with criminal trespassing, mischief and what not. They confiscated my camera and my phone and I never got them back. But I won’t let that stop me from doing what I do,” he says.
KEEP IT FUN
Even it comes to taking selfies and posting them on social media, actor Gulshan Devaiah says that he is as guilty as anyone. But he says a selfie for a celebrity is not just a picture, it is his way for interacting and staying connected with his fans. About those who go overboard with selfies, the Hate Story actor says, “This constant need for attention and seeking validation from other people is a mental disorder.
Those who feel this urge to do radical things to get more likes and comments need psychological help. Being an actor, I completely understand that we all love attention but it’s detrimental if it occupies your mind all the time. The attention span a selfie gets you is very small and that’s why youngsters keep posting every few hours. It is here that it stops being fun and becomes dangerous. My suggestion to all those who love taking selfies is to not take likes and views seriously.”