Taking selfies is a popular cultural phenomenon worldwide.  There’s nothing wrong with taking selfies and sharing them on the social media.  It’s fun.  It’s therefore not surprising that people want to make the most of it.  However, many get bored with it eventually.  Still, there are users who cannot do without it. Even when there’s no need for selfies and postings, the users feel compelled to do so.  They do not see that sub-consciously they are devoting far too much time to selfies at the expense of other more rewarding activities.

Homework is affected, reading for enjoyment or for general knowledge is neglected, and helping mother in the kitchen is no longer a priority.  Attention is turned to the self.  The user is cut off from others.  Focusing exaggeratedly on the image of oneself suggests something narcissistic, and as time goes on, the user even runs the risk of creating his own little world.  When face-to-face interaction and genuine exchange with others is affected, it’s a cause for concern.

The International Journal of Medicine and Addiction recently published a breakthrough study on addiction to selfie-taking.  The researchers say that selfitis could be a psychological condition.

Concentrating on your own image over days and weeks is rather self-centredness, I believe.  Taking selfies is correct but up to a point.  Carried out compulsively (and when it interferes with your daily activities), it can be problematic.  The researchers’ conclusion must not be taken as alarming but it is certainly a clear warning.  Some people may reject it as just another hoax.  Yet the truth is that any behaviour pushed to an obsessive degree is a pointer to something dysfunctional somewhere.

Socialisation remains vital in the growth process.  The young learn from each other through participative activities.  Friendship with both sexes is reassuring and boosts self-confidence.  Sharing ideas, learning new things, expanding your horizons is a fundamental part of personal development.  But dependence on technology draws the user into a shell.  In his selfie, he sees what he desires to see.  He is eager for appraisal.  He may garner hundreds of “likes” though the praises may not be necessarily sincere.  The user lives under the illusion that he is the most admired and that he is the best.

A strong urge to seek attention, or subjective conformity (the feeling that you have to be part of a group; the fear of exclusion; the wish to be accepted), may hide some kind of complex.  It’s important to delve into this.

 Fixation

Chill out with friends, make new acquaintances and share memorable moments.  This is how you learn about the basics of human relationship and discover your strengths and weaknesses.  You also learn about making choices (who to go out with, who to avoid; who to trust and who to distrust etc.)  It sharpens your understanding of life and your capacity to empathize.  Turning on yourself tends to isolate you.  This may prove to be a misery.

On the other hand, William Shapiro, Clinical Associate Professor at New York University, says that too much listening to loud music on the headphone exposes the young to risk.  He says one in five teenagers have some form of hearing loss due to damaged hair cells.  For many teens, the headphone is a passing fad but there are others who develop an emotional attachment to it.  They can be seen with their gadget everywhere.  One wonders if they are really enjoying music or just showing off.  Anyway, lengthy exposure to high volume impacts on the ears.  It’s a habit worth breaking because the result could be irreversible.

There’s nothing objectionable in viewing explicit sexual content online as far as adults are concerned.  Maybe they do so to bring some excitement to their life or to kill time or simply out of curiosity.  It may be just recreational.   So far, so good.  But when it becomes habitual, it’s serious business.  There comes a moment when they cannot shake it out of their system.  Like heavy smokers or drug addicts, they long for their regular dose.  Without it, they get restless, agitated and nervous.   Giving irrational importance to internet porn may be a clue to deeper dilemmas.  They may be victims of secret miseries and watching porn privately and regularly becomes one way to make life a little bit more tolerable.

It may be a form of compensation for lack of affection and human warmth.  Or it may be a way to fight insecurity, anxiety or fears.  Moreover, it may be their style to deal with their inner conflicts probably caused by childhood traumas.  The reality is that it may not be the ideal way to do so.

Nomophobia is an irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or the fear of not being able to use it.  The person’s mind is filled with speculations and worries.  In fact, a dramatisation is occurring here about possible outcomes.  The person is far from reality.  A rational mind wouldn’t care because he knows there are other ways of communication.  He isn’t dependent on the cellular.  He can manage.  He is realistic whereas the phone-addict has his mind fixed on his mobile.  Fixation prevents him from seeing options.  Besides, worry and panic disorders can cause immense harm to his well-being.

Porn revenge

 Porn revenge or online harassment is unreasonable behaviour.  It is meant to publicly humiliate, embarrass and ruin an ex-lover’s reputation and career.  A mature person would leave the past behind and just move on.  But the person who is sensitive and does not know how to navigate loss to start afresh in life after a bitter break-up uses the internet to post compromising pictures of the ex.  It’s deliberately intended to cause distress and shame to the victim.  Obsessed with the idea to hurt, the perpetrator doesn’t see the blunder he’s committing.

Extreme fondness for your phone can lead you to depend on it to such an extent that even when you go to bed, it has to be nearby or even under the pillow.  Somehow, it reassures you. But experts say that mobiles emit brain-damaging radiation.  So here’s another addiction you’d better avoid.

Compulsions and obsessions may lead to depression.  Looking for more delightful and profitable things to do may help the addicts to find their way out.

Technology must not control our life.