Originally published January 11 2015
If you enjoy taking "selfies," you could be a psychopath
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Some would contend that it's nothing but an irritating fad spurred on by a growing phenomenon of self-obsession and narcissism. But the act of taking "selfies," or self-snapped photos of oneself typically for the purpose of plastering all over social media, may actually be indicative of a serious mental condition.
Researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) found that individuals who share lots of selfies online actually display clinical psychopathic traits, including a lack of empathy. Particularly men who digitally alter their selfie photos before sharing them, say experts, may be exhibiting narcissistic tendencies and unhealthy patterns of self-objectification.
But women aren't exempted from this designation. Everyone has seen the infamous "duck lips" photos which are often accompanied by seductive, self-focused poses, which suggest both insecurity and instability by the person taking them. Selfie addiction could indicate that a person is literally maniacal, not to mention impulsive and explicitly self-centered.
Published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the new study looked at antisocial traits in participants compared to their individual levels of selfie addiction. They found that participants who regularly post selfies online scored higher than average on the sociopath scale than participants who don't engage in this activity.
Individuals who doctor their photos to make themselves look especially attractive were found to display signs of narcissism, including the perception that they can only relate to others by feeling more intelligent and attractive than them. On the other hand, individuals who immediately upload photos of themselves after taking them display signs of impulsiveness and a lack of empathy, two indicators, say psychologists, of psychopathy.
"Psychopathy is characterized by impulsivity," said Professor Jesse Fox, an assistant professor of communications at OSU. "They are going to snap the photos and put them online right away. They want to see themselves. They don't want to spend time editing."
Increasing use of social media creating self-centered, self-obsessed culture of psychopaths and sociopaths The survey, which included 800 men between the ages of 18 and 40, revealed what many people might see as obvious -- the vanity that accompanies constantly posting images of oneself to social media is not normal and suggests that society as a whole is becoming increasingly more self-obsessed and self-focused.
"It's not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic," added Professor Fox, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "The more interesting finding is that they also score higher on this other anti-social personality trait, psychopathy, and are more prone to self-objectification."
"Most people don't think that men even do that sort of thing, but they definitely do."
In women, such actions are generally regarded as problematic in the sense that they can lead to negative self-perception issues that in turn lead to eating disorders, body modifications and other vain attempts to achieve a certain image. But the same problems can occur in men as well, says Professor Fox, illustrating the curse that is social media.
"We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women," concluded Professor Fox. "With the growing use of social networks, everyone is more concerned with their appearance. That means self-objectification may become a bigger problem for men, as well as for women."
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