Thailand Selfie Catastrophe: Phone Photo Epidemic Will Lead To Country's Downfall
Thailand is on the verge of self-imploding.
According to the Thailand Department of Mental Health, young Thais who don't get enough Facebook or Instagram "Likes" on their selfies are beginning to question their self-worth. And a youth population with no self-confidence is a youth population that will lead Thailand into the abyss, Thai government psychiatrist Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn said Sunday.
"If they feel they don't get enough Likes for their selfie as expected, they decide to post another, but still do not receive a good response," Dr. Wipulakorn told the Bangkok Post (via TIME). "This could affect their thoughts. They can lose self-confidence and have a negative attitude toward themselves, such as feeling dissatisfied with themselves or their body."
"This could affect the development of the country in the future as the number of new-generation leaders will fall short," added Dr. Wipulakorn. "It will hinder the country's creativity and innovation."
Selfie addiction has been endemic in Thailand for quite some time. It's unclear why the Southeast Asian country is so selfie-obsessed, as the vast majority of Thais are Buddhist, a religion that promotes ego death.
The best way "to control your selfie-taking behavior," Dr. Wipulakorn said, is to only go places where taking photos is "socially taboo."
For those suffering from selfie-induced narcissism, anti-government protests should be avoided at all costs, Dr. Wipulakorn said. Pakkarat Phattanathanya, a producer with SpokeDark TV, said many young Thais show up to these demonstrations "and take photos of themselves, but when we interview them they can't say what the protest is about."
"We call them Instagram protesters," Phattanathanya told TIME.
Phattanathanya isn't against Instagram in general. She's posted two selfies in the past two weeks, saying, "I don't think it's a problem, but some people may get depressed. Obviously, the more Likes, the better."