Are we addicted to taking selfies?
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - The selfie craze shows no signs of slowing down. "It's completely changed social media, self-perception, the way people post," says Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed psychotherapist and author of The Relationship Fix.
But are we addicted to taking photos of ourselves?
This is how many selfies UCLA students told us they take every day: "If it's for snapchat or something, probably a good 2 or 3 dozen," said Brittany Nguyen.
"About 52," says Ranjit Dailamy.
Mann says even though taking so many might seem normal, new research shows its far from it.
"The American Psychiatry Association recently started talking about selfies. And what they're saying is that posting three selfies a day or more is excessive. That they view that as pathological," says Mann.
And some people are taking that selfie obsession to the extreme.
Plastic Surgeon Robert Singer says getting surgery to look perfect for those selfies is getting more and more common.
"So what are the procedures patients are looking for after looking at their selfies, hypercritically? Nose procedures. Neck procedures. Fillers. Skin care. Those are all of the things that they're requesting," says Singer.
Experts point to celebrities for spreading the selfie trend. Kim Kardashian recently confessed she took 6,000 selfies during a 4 day Mexico trip.
That's about one every minute.
"Some of it is their brand, these people get paid a lot of money to have the perfect selfie. They sell products, they sell themselves. They get themselves work that way. Taking 6 thousand selfies is excessive," said Mann.
So how do you know if you're a selfie addict?
Mann says you might be an addict if those selfies pull you away from everyday life.
Students we spoke to say they see it happen all the time...from concerts to the classroom.
"Everyone was just taking videos and pictures of themselves and the background. But they weren't actually looking at it. And from the screen it's a completely different experience," says Nguyen.
"I think there are days where it gets in the way. I'll have a class, and instead of paying attention to the lecture, i'll go and start taking pictures of me," says Dailamy.
Mann says distraction is one thing, but distorted perceptions could be even more harmful.
"One of the really negative things about selfies and posting is that we are comparing our insides, our internal life, to people's perfect selfie external life. And whenever we compare our insides to other peoples outsides, we're always going to come out short, and we're always going to come out sad, and depressed," says Mann.
But don't stop the selfies entirely. Experts say some types of selfies are perfectly fine and natural.
"The selfies to show off the haircut. The selfie that is to show off the cool new product that you found. The selfie that is to show the exotic location that you are at. And that those are different. There hasn't been enough research done at this point to know what they mean," says Mann.
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