Selfie addiction can be directly linked to psychopathic behaviours and tendencies, a new study has found.

We’re all guilty of indulging in the excessive vanity of the ‘selfie’, some even go as far as shamelessly taking selfies in public places. Smartphones are made for it; with the introduction of the front-facing camera, we were plunged into a world of selfies and snapchats.

Although selfies seem like a harmless form of self-expression and social media, research has shown that the more selfies men take on a regular basis, the higher on the psychopathy scale they may be.

Ohio State University has found that selfie addiction (or excessive obsession with taking selfies) can be directly linked to psychopathic behaviours and tendencies. Also, the time that is taken to edit these pictures can correlate to narcissism and negative body image. In extreme cases, this can lead to body dysmorphia and self-harm.

Studies showed, however, that there were fluctuations of these traits within what was considered as a normal range in behaviours and tendencies in males. So don’t get worried – just because you take a lot of selfies does not mean that you are definitely a psychopath, there is just evidence to show some links. I’m not saying that you climb a rung of the psycho ladder with each snap.

It has already been seen as a wide-spread issue that certain aspects of social media and photography can cause low self-esteem and eating disorders in women, but it has not been as widely voiced that these issues are present in the male half of society too.

The treatment of the selfies is key in telling where this behaviour lies on the psychopathy scale. Taking the pictures with no, or very little, editing rates much higher on the scale of psychopathic behaviours. Yet, if you take large amounts of time, meticulously analysing, judging, and editing your photos, this can pull up much more worrying flags on the scale of self-objectification and low self-esteem. This is a real worry when looking at the adverse effects that these behaviours can have in women.

A key flag of psychopathy is impulsive behaviour. If you upload the selfie immediately after taking it, then you will rate much higher on the scale due to the fact that the aim is to see yourself and have others see you. Self-objectification, on the other hand, is much more worrying and is characterised by the need to look perfect and portray a flawless social media image. This is an issue, which has been deep-seated when taking into account the attitudes of women. But with the information that this study has brought to light, it is important to focus on those who are under-represented.

We live in a culture that is rife with selfie addiction, group pictures, and social media platforms. Although these aspects of our society can have some really positive effects, they can also have some drastic ones.

It is important to remember that social media image isn’t everything and to focus on other things in your life. Allow yourself to not be perfect all of the time.

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