Emerging Thought Leaders: Natalie Corkos

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Guest Post: #Selfie Overload

We live in a world where the term “selfie” is used by all ages and at any given point. The humorous Urban Dictionary  definition for the word “selfie” states that it is:

“A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to Myspace to find internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by themselves. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera.”

Recently, there was an article published that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had officially classified taking ‘Selfies’ as a mental disorder. The announcement also stated that the APA also claimed to name the disorder ‘Selfitis.’ This story was so ridiculous that it was in fact as unbelievable as it seemed because the story was not confirmed to be a credible source and was instead found out to be a hoax. What makes it even more amusing is that the story went viral on social media, with many becoming obsessed with the notion of tearing apart the “selfie” and turning it into a mental disorder.

According to Forbes, a survey of mental health professionals conducted by YourTango.com, revealed that the desire to feel appreciated is actually critical to a healthy relationship. The survey was focused on finding the most common issues within a marriage, and 65% of respondents cited “communication problems,” as the most common factor that leads to divorce. The top communication complaints by men in couples considering divorce were: nagging/complaining (70%), followed by their spouse not expressing sufficient appreciation (60%). The number one complaint (83%) from women who responded was “a lack of validation for their feelings and opinions” (sounds a lot like ‘recognizing’ feelings and opinions).

For better or for worse, this fraudulent article on “selfies” offers us all some insights that we can use. We can see that there is both a human desire to be recognized and appreciated, and that we shouldn’t make those people closest to us ask for that recognition. There are quite a few duck-faced selfies that become eye-roll inducing to say the least, but maybe when we see a friend posting dozens of selfies in one day, we should reach out instead of mocking them or immediately assuming they are mentally unstable….