Dr. Leon Funkenheimer of Miami, Florida, has just published a paper on a rare muscle disorder that seems to be tied to the “selfie.” In a study of 100 men and women he has determined that the angle required to take such a photograph and the irregular shape that the hand must take is causing a cramp in the forearm that could result in permanent paralysis.
He first noticed it when trying to interview women sun-bathing on the beach. He originally thought that they were using the age-old method of blocking the sun when talking to someone, but then he recognized that the sun was coming from a different direction yet their arms needed to be in that straight position. So he began an exhaustive study where he asked women to take various photos of themselves in the mirror from different angles and stressed that they needed to be in bikinis because this was, after all, a study in anatomy. After six months and seven thousand, four hundred and fifty two downloads he added men to the study in order to satisfy his colleague’s criticism of the scientific data. So he got fourteen photos of men.
Regardless, the results are interesting. It seems that those individuals that found it essential to take more than three photos per day of themselves were definitely suffering from muscle cramping but the study was not lengthy enough to know if there would be long term damage. The other interesting finding is the somewhat reverse of the stress factor known to affect people’s health, i.e those that seem to think they are “all that” appear to allow those hormones to affect their condition in a strange twisting of the old mother’s warning “your face will freeze like that.”
Obviously Dr. Funkenheimer recognizes that this is still a phenomenon in its infancy and has dedicated the next ten years to the study.