Selfitis Isn’t a Mental Disorder, But It Should Be


In March of 2014 the Adobo Chronicles published an article on American Psychiatric Association Makes It Official: ‘Selfie a Mental Disorder.’ They also indicated that the word selfitis, the obsessive-compulsive urge to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media would be added to the Oxford Dictionaries.  This report was false, but it shouldn’t be.

The chronic obsession with selfies has killed at least 24 people this year, with more to die before year’s end. How many people must die before we recognize this disease?

Wikipedia maintains a list of  selfie-related injuries and deaths and the Russian government has published a brochure to prevent selfie deaths. The actual cause of death in these cases is quite varied, ranging from taking a photo of a live hand grenade to falling off a cliff, but the one thing these deaths have in common is the selfie.

As a partial solution, I propose that all cell phones be labelled clearly indicating the hazardous nature of this product. In addition, a selfie tax with a fee levied every time a selfie is posted to Facebook would discourage this dangerous behavior. Banning selfies and confiscating camera phones is probably not possible.

What do you think?


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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1 Response to Selfitis Isn’t a Mental Disorder, But It Should Be

  1. Nancy says:

    Tho I absolutely love the sarcasm and sense of humor, I am glad people are taking selfies, even if too many, at least people are getting in front of the camera. Too many people in the past worried about what they looked like, or were too intimidated to pose for a photo. I have no photos of the best years of my life, no photos of me and my friends growing up, no photos of my high school years. Why, because I thought why do I want pictures of myself? We don’t stop to realize others may want them too, we don’t realize those people in the photo won’t always be there, we don’t realize one day how much we will change. Yep, won’t find me complaining about selfies, but still, thanks for a great post, Mark.

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