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December 21, 2017

Our selfie obsession shows no sign of slowing

Once jokingly dubbed “Seflitis” in a spoof news story in 2014, selfie addiction has now been validated by researchers at Nottingham Trent University as a genuine mental condition.

By GlobalData Consumer

Once jokingly dubbed “Selfitis” in a spoof news story in 2014, selfie addiction has now been validated by researchers at Nottingham Trent University as a genuine mental condition.

The research published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addition found the uncontrollable urge to take photos of oneself and share them online can be provoked by a number of factors that can be measured on a “Selfitis Behaviour Scale.” The scale includes measures for self-confidence, social competition and attention-seeking behavior.

According to GlobalData’s Q4 2017 consumer survey, people are becoming more prolific at taking selfies. Globally, 27 per cent of consumers claim to share photos of themselves online at least once per week; up seven percentage points compared to 2015.

As mental conditions related to today’s digitally connected world, such as Selfitis, become more widely recognized and acknowledged, people are likely to increasingly look for ways to switch off and recharge.

The notion of taking a “digital detox” is becoming more popular. In fact over four in ten consumers surveyed in GlobalData’s recent Q4 2017 survey claim to be actively trying to limit the amount of time they spend online or on a smartphone.

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Going forward this will have implications on the ways brands interact with consumers. As people seek to spend less time online, it will create fewer opportunities for brands to engage as consumers become increasingly more selective about what they choose to do, and look at, online.