It might be part of this generation’s phenomenon that people of all ages have participated in (whether they take the photo or not), but it looks like selfies might not be good for you in more ways than one.
So many people take selfies for social media purposes that doctors are now calling it a chronic medical condition. And no, it’s not because of the emotional impact or the level of self-confidence that the self-taker may or may not have, but instead because of the rise in selfie-related injuries.
In other words, people are indeed hurting themselves physically with each snap they take. It’s gotten so bad that some reality television stars have even been ordered by their doctor to stop taking selfies immediately.
On a recent episode of Keeping Up, Kim Kardashian revealed she was ordered to stop taking selfies by her doctor. “My hand hurts,” she said to her sister Khloé and mother Kris Jenner. “I forgot my brace.” She then asked her assistant, Paxy, to help her.
"What are you having her do?" Khloé asks. "The doctor says I can only hold my phone like this," Kim explains. "So, I'm having Paxy take my pics so I can rest my hands."
Selfie injuries might sound outrageous, but according to a report in the Irish Medical Journal, there have been several cases of teen girls and women who have injured their wrists by taking too many selfies. They can also suffer from repetitive strain injury from awkward selfie posture, too.
Apparently, the consequences of poorer spatial awareness and a focus on getting a good or daring photo has lead to multiple traumas. While taking selfies, for many people proprioception and spatial awareness is often poorer and that’s because they are focusing more on their mobile device than what they are actually doing.
For example, a 13-year-old girl was hospitalized after trying to take a selfie while jumping on a trampoline. As a result, she then fell onto her right hand, and suffered a fracture of the right distal radius and ulna. In other example, one sports player tried to take a selfie with fans but fell, fracturing her left radius. She fell down four steps when she put her dominant right hand forward. She suffered an impacted volarly displaced distal radius fracture that was treated with open reduction internal fixation.
And let’s also not forget that some people have put themselves in very dangerous situations in order to take the riskiest selfies. Sure, selfies might have the ultimate cool factor on social media, but some people’s quests for the most dramatic selfie has cost their lives. One man died in November of 2017 after falling from a 62-foot story building in China after trying to take a selfie.