Since social media came out, I have been studying the selfie phenomena.
When the trend of updating photos was all the rave, it seemed normal that people enjoyed sharing their digital selves to the world; but as time went on, it became apparent who was enjoying their selfies too much and there seemed to be a direct correlation with their off-line personalities at large being selfish and insecure, with egos needing constant validation…
There are some really obvious symptoms that the social media user is addicted to validation, translating LIKES into genuine acceptance in the real world. Here are some key signs that a friend is a sick selfie addict.
Their online photos are mostly of themselves.
On rare occasions when they are not photos of their actual body, it will be a book they are reading or food they are eating. The user does not realize both how boring this is for others as their feed is genuinely repetitive in nature: Me in the locker room, my Starbucks latte with my name on it, me in the locker room again, my lunch bowl, etc.
Unfortunately, they are not actually absorbing much of the world around them in a real enough way to capture it. In a row of let’s say 3 Instagram photos, one will most def be of their face, body, hands, feet… they literally cannot handle going without the near-daily updates of digital reflections of their NOW self. They are often followed online by other selfie addicts who seek in turn their constant self-validation. If you scroll quickly though the friends of the selfie addict, you will in no time find more selfie sickos.
They, at their worst, will pester you to go look at them on-line, go like things, and basically go validate them and their pathetic empty narcissism.
They are worried that their immediate friends might be missing out on a crucial Snapchat or urgent FB update. They get quite aggressive if they have created a Facebook event (expect constant harassment both inside the event thread and off-line as well!)
Most symptomatic, however, tends to be their permanent personality. They are very addicted to the on-line spaces because they do not want to miss any validation. God forbid someone hearts a photo while they are in a movie.
They feverishly check all their online hangouts before movies and meeting.
They talk primarily about themselves in texts and live conversations and any attempt to talk about yourself, is short lived or interrupted. They are bossy with their activity ideas and tend to schedule things that are convenient for them. A classic case of this is that they are coming into town (you have not invited them, they are just in town) and they want you to move your schedule and travel to meet them so they do not have to inconvenience themselves. This would seem absurd to most humans but the selfish selfie addict has a personality disorder which enables them to feel quite self-entitled.
Lastly, another obvious sign is that they have very few solid long lasting friends and lots (read tons) of acquaintances.
They have a lot of coffee-place friends but come Christmas, the list is low of people who need, or actually want, to spend time with them. They sadly do not see that their selfishness prevents people from wanting to spend too much time with them and in turn backfires because they receive less real validation from the real world which fuels the need for more digital love to massage their egos. The longer I live the more I have to distance myself from those who waste too much time on-line, and have created a curated version of themselves that frankly only they buy into… I would rather surround myself with people who are too busy living in the real world and who have nothing to prove because they are happy and authentic.