New Delhi: Think twice before you take that selfie! Selfies are notorious not only for causing injuries and death among people lost in the act of clicking themselves with a phone camera, they also have disastrous psychological impact, leaving selfie-takers feeling more anxious, less confident, and less physically attractive. The feelings of inadequacy are intense enough to drive many of them to undergo cosmetic surgery to change their facial appearance. These are the findings of a landmark study conducted by The Esthetic Clinics involving 300 patients who presented themselves at its branches in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad for cosmetic surgery procedures.
The study found that people posting selfies untouched without using any filters saw a significant increase in anxiety and decrease in confidence. Those posting untouched and even retouched selfies also experienced a significant decrease in feelings of physical attractiveness. Generally, taking and posting a selfie on social media resulted in lowered mood and worsened self-image. Participants who had the opportunity to retake and modify their selfie before posting it to social media still experienced decreases to mood and anxiety. Significantly, majority of people posting selfies wanted to undergo cosmetic surgery and procedures to change their looks.
The findings have clinical implications for the prevention and treatment of mental health difficulties, and raise significant concerns about social media use and well-being.