selfitis, selfie,

"Selfitis" -- the obsession to take selfies -- is considered to be a genuine mental condition, according to research.

A test has been devised by psychologists to help people test where they stand on the selfitis scale.

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A spoof news article had coined the term "selfitis" in 2014, claiming the American Psychiatric Association would consider selfitis a mental disorder.

Since then, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai, India, carried out studies to dig up the truth behind the phenomenon.

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The researchers found that this phenomenon does exist. The next thing they did was figure out a framework to calculate the severity of this condition on the volunteers.

"A few years ago, stories appeared in the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classed as a mental disorder," Dr Mark Griffiths from Nottingham Trent University said in a statement.

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"While the story was revealed to be a hoax, it didn't mean that the condition of selfitis didn't exist. We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world's first Selfitis Behaviour Scale to assess the condition," he added.

The researchers came up with three categories of selfitis' severity:

  • Borderline
  • Acute
  • Chronic

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Borderline selfitis takes place when a person clicks selfies at least three times a day but doesn't post the pictures on social media.

Acute selfitis refers to the condition in which a person clicks the selfies and posts them on social media.

Chronic selfitis refers to the condition in which a person clicks selfies round the clock and posts them on social media more than six times per day.

"This study arguably validates the concept of selfitis and provides benchmark data for other researchers to investigate the concept more thoroughly and in different contexts," Griffiths said.

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"The concept of selfie-taking might evolve over time as technology advances, but the six identified factors that appear to underlie selfitis in the present study are potentially useful in understanding such human-computer interaction across mobile electronic devices," he added.