Facebook Narcissism

So I came across this book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Enlightenment. I haven’t read the actual book, but I did read the thought-provoking summary:

Narcissism-an inflated view of the self-is everywhere. Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Parents teach it by dressing children in T-shirts that say “Princess.” Teenagers and young adults hone it on Facebook, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. And it’s what’s making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.

As it turned out, I am so very narcissistic! It’s true. I have inevitably contracted narcissism as I acculturated to the use of social media. In a way, narcissism, I think, is simply a different version of vanity and individuality. In real life, we attend to our physical appearances and the way we dress to “look our best” or “express ourselves.” Essentially it’s a socially acceptable self-love–when not taken to the extreme. Actually, I don’t think there is such a thing as “extreme” narcissism anymore. North America is a consumerist society, and physical image and presentation are pretty much all that matters. That is not to say, of course, that’s all we care about–but pretty things do appeal to us more. We’ve been socialized to associate beauty with positive judgement and value.

Anyway. Slightly off topic here. My point is–social medias are super junkfoods that feed our ego. Profile pictures are basically a proliferation of self-love. Status updates are meant to capture attention and gain “likes.” All kinds of activity updates–places you’ve been, relationship status, favourite movies/music/sports, events–are they meant for self-documentation? Nope. They are meant for an audience. Maybe social medias are so successful because we are all inherently vain! Vanity, after all, is just redundant and exaggerated self-expressions.

Funny how I’ve never thought about this before. Most of us haven’t, I think. So I guess, YES!, I am helplessly narcissistic. I update my profile photos, I seek more followers on 8tracks, and I post status updates hoping someone would comment or hit the like button. Based on the dictionary definition from Ninjawords:

narcissistic
adjective

°Having an inflated idea of one’s own importance.
°Obsessed with one’s own self image and ego.
I suppose that applies to us all Facebook users, twitter-ers, Youtubers, other-social-media-siters–more or less. Anyway. Definitely going to read this book sometime. I will write a follow-up post then, hopefully with more knowledge and insight of the matter.
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