Stop Taking Selfies! Self Taken Photos Linked To Mental Illness In Both Men And Women

While you may be raking up the likes on Instagram, your selfie obsession could be indicating a mental illness. Shutterstock

Selfies, despite their incessant presence on social media, are seemingly harmless, or so we thought. A new study from Ohio State University has revealed that selfies indicate some personality traits and they are not necessarily endearing qualities. Researchers discovered that men who post more self taken photos of themselves online on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, scored higher in measures of narcissism and psychopathy.

The study included 800 males between the ages of 18 and 40 who participated in an online questionnaire, they answered questions about how often they posted photos of themselves on social media, and about whether and how they edited photos before posting. In addition to the technology focused question, the participants in the studies were also asked to fill out standard questionnaires measuring anti-social behaviors and self-objectification. After analyzing the data, the researchers at OSU discovered that posting more photos was correlated with both narcissism and psychopathy. Interestingly enough, the study discovered that men who edited photos possessed more narcissistic personality traits, but not psychopathic ones. "That makes sense because psychopathy is characterized by impulsivity," the study's lead author, Jesse Fox, said in a statement. "They are going to snap the photos and put them online right away. They want to see themselves. They don't want to spend time editing."

While these findings concluded that men who post selfless scored higher than others in these anti-social traits, they were still within the normal range of behavior. This is not the first time social media has been linked to narcissism, in a study conducted at University of North Carolina Wilmington researchers discovered that Facebook users who have unrealistically large number of friends, which correlates with having a narcissistic personality.

Additionally, the OSU study corroborated these low self esteem traits with results that indicate editing photos of oneself is associated with higher levels of self-objectification. “We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women,” Fox said. She continued saying, “with the growing use of social networks, everyone is more concerned with their appearance. That means self-objectification may become a bigger problem for men, as well as for women.”

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Donovan Longo

Donovan Longo, staff reporter, joined the Latin Times team in February 2013 and has quickly become our resident pop culture expert. As a native New Yorker and Fordham University alumni, Donovan has always had her finger on the cultural pulse and is here to get you in the know.  As a follower of Donovan’s writing you will undoubtedly win a game of thrones, survive a zombie apocalypse, fall in love with a vampire and outsmart the CIA.