Home Narcissism Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness


Recently, many of us have become extremely obsessed with taking selfies for social media. It happens when you travel and check in in front of the Eiffel tower with a selfie or at work when you’re alone in the office. Somehow, people got used to posting selfies and looking at selfies.

While it’s easy to just look at Instagram posts and stories and occasionally judge the Millennials for practicing this the most, we fail to see the real cause behind it.

Taking a selfie is far from a human need, but many people would agree that narcissists need it for their self-esteem.

How did we become so self-obsessed?

The selfie became popular in 2013 when people started taking self-portraits with the newest smartphones that allowed this. The selfie is still popular today even after years and it seems as it isn’t going away anytime soon.

Everyone does it occasionally, but some people are real “selfie masters”. What’s making those people different? It may be narcissism – and there are scientific studies that suggest this.

Namely, some scientists have linked narcissistic behavior to selfie-taking. Psychology today wrote about this link between the two, informing about studies that imply that the taking selfies fosters narcissism and in some cases, selfies can be clearly identified as a result of narcissism.

However, that’s not the only factor that comes to play and personality alone sometimes is not enough for selfie use.

A different study testing the correlation between selfies and narcissism showed different results when it comes to women and men.

Interestingly, there was a positive correlation between narcissistic behavior and selfies in men, but not women.

For the ladies, only one trace of narcissism predicted selfie-taking, which is admiration demand. In other words, narcissistic men tend to take selfies, but narcissistic women don’t necessarily take many selfies, except when they need admiration.

However, we must challenge these findings by putting light to the numerous of people who have felt pressure to look like the celebrities they see every day on Instagram or Facebook and in order to do that, have taken extreme measures.

For instance, one British teenager has recently tried to kill himself for not being able to take the perfect selfie. After spending hours a day taking selfies, losing weight and dropping out of school, he was the first person who was diagnosed with a selfie addiction. He was treated by having his phone taken away at short intervals.

In his book “Selfie”, Will Storr writes about the practice of taking self-portraits as a story from a history book. In the book, Storr writes about the way people have become to think about themselves and finds the traces of the today’s self-obsession in philosophy and history.

Whether the selfie is something new or old and whether it is a result of narcissism or not, we see that many people are taking it very seriously.

Many are finding it hard to cope with what the new technologies bring us. So, taking some time off the internet might actually do us good.

Taking selfies is fun, but it’s important not to obsess yourself about it. You don’t need approval for anything and you don’t have to be perfect – because nobody is.