Taking Selfies, a Growing Addiction Among Mak Youth

Written by: 
Elizabeth Nakakoni

“I just find myself taking selfies.  I do it for personal pleasure, it’s part of me, it’s my life.”

Mutoni Fadhillah, a second year Bachelor of Journalism and Communication student at Makerere University says that her love for selfies has kept growing ever since she got a smart phone. To her, the habbit is now more like an addiction because the longest she can do without a selfie is a day.


Fadhillah says that she takes selfies for personal pleasure but also to keep her social network sites updated. “I mostly use my selfies to update my WhatsApp status and on rare occations, Facebook,” Fadhillah added.


Not to mean that Fadhillah is alone in this ‘selfie-taking business’. A large section of youth is caught up. In today’s era of smartphones, it is not surprising that after about every 100 metres, you would meet or see someone taking a selfie. It doesn’t matter the occasion or place; be it in the washrooms, in the middle of the road,  at an accident scene even before calling police for help, in the hospital with patients, at a funeral service, among others.


Robinah Alambuya, a mental health support and recovery trainer at Butabika hospital says that “taking selfies or getting attached to one's smart phone is a serious addiction just like alcohol.” “Such people surely need psychosocial help early enough because addiction unattended to gets worse by the day, Alambuya added.


Whereas some youth take selfies since they believe they are trendy, other people take them for business-related and communication reasons.


Timina Watsike, a tailor says that she has attracted many customers to her business by just tailoring a particular design, have a model put it on, take a selfie and post on Facebook. "It has boosted my customer base," Timina added.


A word, whose first known use in any paper or electronic medium appeared in an Australian Internet forum – Karl Kruszelnicki’s self-serve science forum on 13th September 2002, in a post by Nathan Hope, is today used countless times world over on social media.


Before Hope’s post, the word ‘selfie’ was just a common slang used to describe a picture taken by oneself. However, in 2013, it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary and the Dictionary chose it as its word of the year. Since then, the word ‘selfie’ has increasingly been used to date.