Bring it to Barb


Dear Barb,

Do people who take and send selfies suffer from narcotic behavior? Are selfies a form of narcissism?


Hater of Selfie People

Dear Selfie Hater,

I feel your annoyance, since selfies are relatively new to our society. 

Anything can be a tranquillizer or create a sense of narcotic desire. Selfies are associated with impulsiveness. The self-satisfied feeling you get while uploading and getting validation on social media can be addictive, even euphoric.

Studies show that when you have self-esteem issues, you are more prone to taking a cumbersomenumber of selfies. 

Group selfies are also a way of showing off. But bragging actually means that you post selfies to make others understand or become aware of your independence. 

It’s a leaning spectrum, just like narcissism, and there are levels. Studies show that selfies can quickly fall into two types of narcissism. Vanity – this is a situation where someone enjoys admiring their outstanding self-appearances. The second type is leadership. It’s a public figure or celebrity character or idea that motivates oneself to promote a particular agenda with a selfie included. 

The upside, however, for a balanced individual is that selfies can actually make you happier. Why? Because provided that you smile while you’re snapping the picture, it makesyou smile and gives your brain a quick jolt of dopamine rush naturally to your brain. Some people never smile ALL DAY! Count how many times you smile during the day.

Selfies are for memories; it shows personality and more importantly it is fun and crazy sometimes. It is now popular for teens and even grown-ups! 

People feel reflective and mindful when they take pictures to make themselves happy and feel more confident and comfortable with themselves according to a new study published in Psychology of Well-Being. 

So, let’s chill out! For the average stable and secure individual, taking a selfie, maybe pulling a silly face, and then sending it to a friend is an amusing, unique way to communicate. Taking a selfie within a group of friends is a great way to bond, cement friendships and create memories. 

We all have that snap-happy friend who blows up our newsfeed with constant selfies. But studies show that you can use your smartphone camera in a way that helps you feel better about yourself and connect with people, rather than as a “personal isolation device.” 

Say goodbye to the duck lips and hello to a smile!

Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at

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