Why do people take selfies

psychology When selfies become an addiction - you can get help here

Not only taking eight selfies a day, but also posting them on social networks? Is that still self-indulgent or is it already cause for concern? The most common reasons that make people snap a selfie are:

  • If you want to enhance your surroundings and experiences
  • When they are in some kind of competition and want to get as many likes on social media as possible
  • When they want to attract attention that they would otherwise not get
  • When you feel lonely
  • If you want to upgrade yourself because you find the edited image more beautiful than yourself
  • If you want to feel part of your group ("everyone does that")

The selfie as a substitute satisfaction

Earn big money quickly on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat - like the "big influencers"? Or even become a star? This notion is deceptive. Because the skin, the figure, the hair, the clothes, the boyfriend, the vacation, the entire lifestyle must be presented as perfect and worth striving for. Always. Every day.

Your own personality takes a back seat. Instead, there is an unconditional compulsion to generate likes in order to receive love and confirmation. If there are no likes, those affected react insecurely, nervously and doubt their self-confidence.

I snap, therefore I am

Getting addicted to selfies can lead to serious psychological disorders. Because they try to strengthen their own selves or to lift their spirits through self-portraits. Even the hours of retouching and post-processing with various apps and filters let those affected perceive reality in a distorted manner. Because then they want to show a picture of themselves that is as perfect as possible that no longer corresponds to their own self.

A survey of cosmetic surgeons found that 55 percent of patients asked for surgery to improve their looks on selfies.

"Selfitis" is not yet recognized as a mental disorder. And many of those affected do not even know that they are well on the way to becoming dependent on posing, snapping and posting.

An international research team has found that men and adolescents between the ages of 16 and 20 are particularly at risk. Although the study is not representative because it only had 400 participants who were 25 years or older, the researchers recognized the selfie compulsion as a serious problem.

The three levels of selfie addiction

1. Worrying: About three selfies a day, but they are not posted on a social media platform

2. Alarming: Significantly more than three selfies a day, which are also posted on a social media platform

3. Diseased: Uncontrolled need to take selfies all the time and to share more than six of them a day

This is where selfie addicts get help

The anonymous addiction and drug hotline offers under 01805/313031 24/7 help.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) also offers an advice line seven days a week: 0221/892031.

The German Main Office for Addiction Issues (DSH) lists the contact details of numerous contact points on "problematic media consumption" on its website under the heading "Search for facilities".