By Mark Salamon, September 4, 2019
So I’m scrolling through the medical news feed looking for something to make fun of, I mean write about, when I stumble across yet another article about the dangers of cell phones. This is reminding me of when I had to solemnly swear that I would never write another article on viagra, a promise I kept, I might add, even after reading about an American tourist who overdosed on viagra and walked through an airport naked throwing poop. These cell phone articles are piling up the same way. When I recently reported on a cell phone causing a man’s asshole to fall out, I thought that might be the last word on the subject. But apparently there is a lot more.
Turns out that in 2014 a news report claimed that a condition known as “selfitis” (the obsessive taking of selfies) was classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. This turned out to be a hoax. A joke. I can’t imagine anyone joking around about such a thing. But I’ll try. And now this will be a lot easier because a new study in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction has shown that selfitis really is no joke. Not only is it real, but the condition is broken down into borderline, acute, and chronic levels that can be determined using the Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS) developed by the authors.
According to this scale, borderline means “taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media,” acute means “taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media,” and chronic means “uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self round the clock and posting the photos on social media at least six times a day.”
I already know what you’re thinking, because if you’re like me, you are relieved that finally all of our precious research dollars aren’t being totally hogged by “the fight to cure cancer.” And if that’s not enough good news, more of these dollars have also been spent on selfie research out of Rutgers and Stanford where complicated mathematical models were used to calculate that taking a selfie from twelve inches away causes the nose to appear 30% larger and the tip of the nose appear 7% wider. These pioneering physicians hope that their findings, which were published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, will help those stricken with this horrible disease to stop showing up in their offices demanding nose jobs.