Lights, Camera, Selfie: Can You Take it Too Far? | Rice Psychology
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Lights, Camera, Selfie: Can You Take it Too Far?

Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.

When Stacey turned 16 a few months ago, my husband and I decided to get her the latest cellphone as a birthday present. I was hesitant at first seeing as how she’d only had no-frills, hand-me-down phones up to that point, but we eventually chose to give her the upgrade. I noticed her taking selfies during the first couple of weeks and thought nothing of it. After all, I remember how excited I was when my parents bought me a new gadget. However, the selfies became almost incessant. She would take them in the car, at the dinner table, in the living room and every place in between. Then yesterday, she made a comment that really caught me off guard: she wants a nose job! I don’t know if I’m being crazy, but could this whole selfie thing be at the root of this desire to fundamentally change her appearance?

We’re living in the world of the selfie. Many people take them with friends, when having fun and throughout all hours of the day and night. Taking a selfie here and there is normal, but there is such a thing as overdoing it. A recent CBS report brought to light an obsessive, and often perilous, addiction to selfies known as “Selfitis.” Are we being too obsessive with the way we want to portray ourselves to others? Are there red flags that are signs of developing Selfitis along with ways to minimize it?

Addictions to tech gadgets is increasingly common, and you might be surprised to learn just how many people are struggling with them. Our licensed psychologists in Tampa can help you or a loved one figure out how best to deal with this issue.

When Obsession Takes Possession

Taking a selfie here and there is normal, but there is such a thing as overdoing it. Click To Tweet

According to a nobullying.com article, our mental health can be damaged by unattainable beauty standards, and this has a direct relationship with selfies. Taking them can be fun, but doing so excessively can also damage a person’s self-image and cause them to become obsessed with their appearance. In fact, when people add filters to tweak their looks and modify images with other applications, they begin to obsess over the perfect result.

When speaking to Huffington Post, Renee Engeln, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, said people don’t only compare themselves to models, but now have “this daily comparison of your real self to this intentional or unintentional fake self that you present on social media.”

With social media outlets being bombarded daily with selfies, how can you tell if you or someone you know is obsessed? When speaking with CBS, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, Psychology Professor at Cal State, said that some of the most common red flags for Selfitis are frequently using filters or if more than 50% of one’s posts on social media are selfies.

In my experience, if you’re with someone who’s constantly fixing their hair or make-up by using their phone screen and is constantly snapping photos of themselves to upload to Snapchat or other app, they may be on their way to a serious case of Selfitis!

Selfie Moderation

Instead of sharing an amazing selfie with the world, how about with just your close friends? Click To Tweet

Here are some ways you can minimize a selfie obsession:

  • Create Selfie/Social Media-Free Zones – You can try this by turning your cellphone off when in the kitchen, living room and/or as you begin getting ready for bed.
  • Share Responsively – Instead of sharing an amazing selfie with the world, how about with just your close friends?
  • Share Differently – Feel like posting something online for everyone to see? How about taking a picture of that new painting you created or that delicious dish you cooked up instead?

Take the First Step

If you or someone you know is struggling with a selfie or social media obsession, don’t hesitate to contact Rice Psychology Group in Tampa. Our psychologists are well-trained in helping kids, adults and families deal with these issues and do so in one of our relaxed and welcoming offices. Our goal is to help you find the most effective path towards feeling better, so give us a call and take that first step today.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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