#iNarcissism
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#iNarcissism
A look into how social networks may have contributed to the rise of narcissism.
Curated by Troy Blevins
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#iNarcissism - By Troy A. Blevins

#iNarcissism - By Troy A. Blevins | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

"Me, me, me, me!"

 

Whether it's having 2000 friends on Facebook, 1 million followers on Twitter, or having the latest Apple iPhone, a rise in the amount of narcissism in America has me a bit worried about the future of our society.

 

And I'm not one to talk. Sure I enjoy seeing new followers and that beautiful (1) appear on my Facebook tab...and that feeling of being constantly connected to my virtual friends makes me all giddy inside...but at what will this cost to my friends in the real world?

 

My goal was to take a look at how social networks have contributed to the rise of narcissism. In addition, I want to take into account the pressures associated with those services, how people react to them (i.e. privacy), and how the media can also influence our online behaviors.

 

To begin my research, I had taken a look at what I already knew, what I kind of knew, and what I don't know at all. My goal was to be holistic in my findings, while finding both supportive and contradictory information. The easiest form of doing research was to start with Google, but I also looked into online catalogs, databases, and research platforms that my university provides.

 

What I discovered while doing my research is how most of the research related to social networking was conducted within recent years. Because the concept of using the internet to create virtual communities is still relatively new, not much research exists beyond this millennium.

 

The other way to approach this project was to make sure that I viewed everything as a whole. For example, rather than just talking about a video, I wanted to also discuss what the commenters were saying about the video as well. For you see, those commenters are critical in proving whether social networks have sparked the rise of narcissism.

 

After collecting and curating my sources, I have to conclude that social networking has indeed played a role in the rise of narcissism, especially in America. Facebook and Twitter have embraced the notion that promoting one's self is permitted in today's culture, whilst privacy remains an issue for many.

 

The media along with corporations are also to blame, for their role in social media and what they have also accomplished with reality television. Think Apple: Every product within the last decade has been iPod, iPhone, iMac, iBook, iPad, etc.  It creates a sense that "this is my product and because it was worth a lot, I feel superior to your inferior and cheaper products!"  Think American Idol: You vote for your favorite singer because you connect with them either by phone, downloading their favorite song, and sharing this information publicly on Facebook to help boost your own personality.

 

Content that one shares on such networks can be liked or deemed acceptable by peers who overlook the content the poster stores on their profile. Overtime, based on the individual's social activity and their proximity in posts, can they form a narcissistic attitude and persona about themselves.

 

To prevent the rise of narcissism, interaction amongst followers and friends must occur. The easiest way to tell somebody they are becoming too full of their personality is to simply not like, follow, or appreciate the things they are saying. Take the recent comments made by Rush Limbaugh, calling a girl a slut and a prostitute. His words were not appreciated by followers of the show, his advertisers, and numerous others who heard his speech. Over-confidence can become a problem later in life.

 

Concluding, the level of narcissism will continue to rise in individuals as social networks promote the idea of sharing everything we do in the real world to those we have connected with online. 

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Empathy: College Students Don't Have as Much as They Used To

Empathy: College Students Don't Have as Much as They Used To | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

Today's college students are not as empathetic as college students of the 1980s and '90s, a University of Michigan study shows.

 

This University of Michigan research study, using data of about 14,000 college students over the last 30 years, correlates with the notion that narcissism continues to be on the rise as empathy declines.

 

"Many people see the current group of college students---sometimes called 'Generation Me'---as one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history," said Konrath, who is also affiliated with the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry."

 

The research goes on to say that exposure in media content could be to blame for why this is so. In addition, a UM graduate student said the "recent rise of social media may also play a role in the drop in empathy."

 

With an atmosphere filled with inflated expectations of success, reality shows, and the inability to slow down, "College students today may be so busy worrying about themselves and their own issues that they don't have time to spend empathizing with others, or at least perceive such time to be limited," said the student.

 

Thus, these findings agree with the idea that social networks and the media both contribute to the rise of narcissism in individuals.

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Virtual Friendship and the New Narcissism

"For centuries, the rich and the powerful documented their existence and their status through painted portraits.  Today, our self-portraits are democratic and digital; they are crafted from pixels rather than paints.

 

The implications of the narcissistic and exhibitionistic tendencies of social networkers also cry out for further consideration. There are opportunity costs when we spend so much time carefully grooming ourselves online.

 

Given how much time we already devote to entertaining ourselves with technology, it is at least worth asking if the time we spend on social networking sites is well spent. In investing so much energy into improving how we present ourselves online, are we missing chances to genuinely improve ourselves?"

 

I've included this PDF file and material as I believe this is becoming a concern for individuals who sit countless hours in front of a computer or device.  It takes time to perfect one's virtual identity, but this also rings true to our true identities in the real world.

But what about the other way around?  People can easily Photoshop or crop out material they do not wish to share in their images, something not easily done in the real world.  However, makeup allows individuals to cover up any "flaws" or unwanted markings on their body, such as a pimple, mole, scar, or cold-sore.

In order to maintain a stable lifestyle, one simply must be able to put in enough time to focus on their own personal relationships in the real world, while staying in touch with those in the virtual communities they belong in.  At the same time, they must understand the concept of narcissism and try to not create an ego in the real and virtual worlds.  People DO judge a book by its cover. 

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Self Reference In The Media – Nostalgia

Self Reference In The Media – Nostalgia | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

Andreas Böhn describes the media's influence to reference and recreate nostalgia, or a yearning for the past.

"Humans, social groups, and societies had to develop other strategies of creating memory to make social continuity and identity possible. But such strategies have always been endangered by the possibility of failure.


Time is a constant threat to social stability, the more so when a society changes rapidly and when its members are conscious of the changes.


One of the strategies of creating collective memory has been the attempt to eliminate time, to relate the present very closely to a past which is held in great social esteem.


An example is the glorification of a "heroic age" as a phase of social and cultural foundation of the present."

 

Social networking has allowed individuals to easily recollect memories.  Saudade, a constant yearning or one's looking into the past or future for something now lost, is something I have witnessed over the years when it comes to people trying to understand who they are and what they've become.

 

By recreating such memories, users can flaunt about how they can own a retro work of art to boost their personality. The media, now on Twitter and Facebook, can also influence how these users connect and share videos, images, and sound bytes as a form of promotion for the network.  They can say "rewatch all your favorites on Hulu and comment on your favorite parts to share with your friends on Facebook."  GetGlue allows users to check-in to television shows, music, and movies, much like visiting a store.  By checking-in with others, users can once again, feel belonged and connected to society.

 

With YouTube, users can easily rewatch old episodes of television shows, feel connected on Twitter when an old movie pops up on television, and on Facebook, members can easily connect to others who like artifacts or favorite media elements in the present or past.

 

What these users typically do is say "Man, these cartoons are SO much better than the trash kids have these days."  Another comment might quote the best part of the television series or a funny scene they can remember.  Some actually cry because they simply forgot the show had existed.  Social networking allows users to create online identities where they boast about what they can remember and highlight from the past, simply to get attention or refute anothers' remarks.

 

Finally, think about how the media has brought back the past.  A few works in the media include The Artist, Mad Men, and Pan Am.  In doing so, people can return to the past, reflect on one's self, and even create their own persona built off from living within the past.

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The Hindustan Times - United State of Narcissism

The Hindustan Times - United State of Narcissism | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

Written in India, the article describes the rise of narcissism on the rise in America.

"If you look at the levers in society, almost all of them are pushing us towards narcissism," said Sara Konrath, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Research Centre for Group Dynamics.

 

In addition, it suggests that this goes even further and beyond Twitter and Facebook accounts, that "offer endless opportunities for self-admiration."

Advertisements tell "consumers 'You're worth it'and reality TV shows that turn regular people against each other in a battle for celebrity."

 

I wanted to include this on my profile as it shows how the world sees America when it comes to social media and its rise of narcissism.  The other articles on my page either are from American-made domains and research groups or from the United Kingdom.  By having a perspective from an outside country, in this case, India, it helps contribute to the conversation on if narcissism is on the rise in America.

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Examining Gender Differences in Self-Presentation on Social Networking Sites

Examining Gender Differences in Self-Presentation on Social Networking Sites | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

"Women tend to be more likely to use social networking sites for comparing themselves with others and for searching for information.

 

Men, on the other hand, are more likely to look at other people's profiles to find friends.

 

Moreover, women tend to use group names for their self-presentation and prefer adding portrait photos to their profiles, while men choose full-body shots."

 

I've included a link to this research data to demonstrate how males and females interact on social media in presenting themselves.

 

I should also mention that this study was conducted by four women, which may cause a bias as well. Either way, males and females both use social networking to promote themselves; the study proves they share their information in different ways.

 

In the real world, it has been stated that women typically care more about their own personal appearance than men do.  According to the study, the same can hold true as well.  Like stated above, men typically don't care about what their default picture may look like, nor the format of the actual profile itself.  Women, however, have a tendency to overlook what is posted and uploaded.

 

I have to agree with the study merely because from what I have seen online, a lot of women have photos that are chest up, much like the photo I shared.  But don't men do the same in presenting themselves?  In fact, most of my shared photos are also cropped to show just my head or upper body.  In addition, I find myself to also be meticulous in what I share on my profile out of fear of privacy.

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Alcohol References on Undergraduate Males’ Facebook Profiles

Alcohol References on Undergraduate Males’ Facebook Profiles | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

"Perceived peer alcohol use is a predictor of consumption in college males; frequent references to alcohol on Facebook may encourage alcohol consumption. Content analysis of college males’ Facebook profiles identified references to alcohol.

 

The average age of 225 identified profiles was 19.9 years. Alcohol references were present on 85.3% of the profiles; the prevalence of alcohol was similar across each undergraduate grade. The average number of alcohol references per profile was 8.5 but increased with undergraduate year (p = .003; confidence interval = 1.5, 7.5).

 

Students who were of legal drinking age referenced alcohol 4.5 times more than underage students, and an increase in number of Facebook friends was associated with an increase in displayed alcohol references (p < .001; confidence interval = 0.009, 0.02).

 

Facebook is widely used in the college population; widespread alcohol displays on Facebook may influence social norms and cause increases in male college students’ alcohol use."

 

You're probably wondering why I threw all this at you just now.  College students want to fit in on campus, want to be cool, and be connected.  This research shows that people are influenced by others on Facebook to socially engage in certain activities, such as drinking games, sharing how you're feeling the day after, and just how cool it is to own a top-shelf liquor.

I've seen photos on my friends page about how their Friday night will go, with kegs or cases of beer cans filling the trunks of their cars.  Instantly, tens of people like the photo, even sharing the typical "I remember my first beer" or "Why wasn't I invited?"

 

While we're on the subject of Friday, remember how viral Rebecca Black's music video went?  People have created parodies not only related to the music video, but to the day of the week as well.  There are drinking game videos shared on YouTube among people, and even hangover cures.

Thus, people can create a drunk persona of themselves in the social networking world.   In fact, I can name a few people on my list that I can expect to be drinking on the weekends, or every night.  As a result, alcohol posts and tweets can influence others to create their own related content to feel included, thus raising the level of narcissism, especially on a Friday night.

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Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites

"Mediational analyses revealed several Web page content features that were influential in raters' narcissistic impressions of the owners, including quantity of social interaction, main photo self-promotion, and main photo attractiveness."

 

This holds true for a number of reasons.  First, take a look at the number of followers or friends one member may have on social media.  Next, take a look at the number of posts, tagged photos, and even photos uploaded themselves.  How many people are commenting and what are they saying?  Are these images uploaded to provoke people?  Make them laugh?  Or simply go "awwwww!"?

But it has to go the other way around as well.  Those users have to contribute something to others' profiles to stay relevant and keep that ego they've formed.  What defines them?  But most importantly, who are they sharing this information with?  What are their privacy settings?

 

One reason Google Plus has failed to build a strong network with individuals is the fact that it promotes privacy over sharing.  People can criticize Facebook for its privacy issues, but Facebook wants its users to share photos, text, video, audio, any media you feel your connected friends should know about.  Google Plus believes in Circles, which shares only certain content with certain people, limiting what one can see and interact with.  However, perhaps Google Plus is the right approach in preventing a narcisstic attitude from developing, as you aren't sharing as much.

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PBS Online NewsHour: Book Examines Internet's Impact

PBS Online NewsHour: Book Examines Internet's Impact | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

Andrew Keen: "I think we see what I call digital narcissism, this embrace of the self. It's Time magazine's person of the year for last year, was you."

 

I remember in 2006 when this issue of Time came out.  I was a bit disappointed, even though I was the person of the year.  I felt it was more controversial, almost like Time was promoting itself to lure back readers.  It gave me this feeling, "Wow, Time thinks I'm awesome.  That's great.  I should really read Time more often to understand why I deserve this award!"

Interestingly enough, people reacted as well.  Time offered people a choice of who should have been the person of the year, with Hugo Chávez in first and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coming in second.  However, Time decided to choose us, as we "control the Information Age."

 

But Keen's dialogue says more about digital narcissism, especially in his book "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture."  But he says we are to blame for what we have done on the Internet, using it wrong in different ways.

"We're forgetting that traditional mainstream media," said Keen, "with its gatekeepers, actually brings significant value, not only in terms of our understanding of the world, but in terms of our civic identity and understanding and interaction." 

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Occupy Wall Street is a fashion show masquerading as a political movement

Occupy Wall Street is a fashion show masquerading as a political movement | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

"Offering a brilliant glimpse into the combination of teenage self-pity and hipster narcissism that is fuelling the Occupy Wall Street movement, the NYT piece declares: 'Labour activists, students and other disaffected New Yorkers joined the Occupy Wall Street protests on 5 October… Their outfits were as divergent as their message.'"

 

I thought I would also insert a quick scoop of an article related to hipsters and Occupy Wall Street.  This is because the Occupy series was fueled by social networking and awareness on the Internet.  Many hipsters (that won't identify themselves as so) have that certain ego that they are better than others in their social circle.  They also typically have a belief that others should care about their artsy clothes or work.

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The Definition of Narcissism

The Definition of Narcissism | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

1. Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.

2. Psychoanalysis: erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.

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From YouTube to Facebook: Welcome to the age of narcissism

From YouTube to Facebook: Welcome to the age of narcissism | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it
The Me-Man is everywhere. And so is the Me-Woman. They are the millions of men and women across Britain, who want to talk about themselves.

 

Written in 2010, Cosmo Landesman of the UK's Daily Mail suggests that people are tweeting and sharing everything about their lives on Facebook, MySpace, and other forms of social media.

 

In addition, talks about the writer's own experiences of not even being a part of any social networks, to which their friend said, "What kind of a freak are you!?"

 

This has become a perplex issue when it comes to social media and correlates to the rise of narcissism.  For, it's not just the young that are expected to be "online," but rather for ALL individuals.

Many have most likely seen someone's baby also on Facebook, created most likely by the parents or some family member.  Some guardians have actually named their baby "Facebook."

It doesn't stop there.  People are even creating Facebook and Twitter accounts for their pets, their cars, and as crazy as Angelina Jolie's leg (@AngiesRightLeg).

The writer makes a historical look into how this rise came to be.  "Margaret Thatcher told people to 'look to themselves first.' And that's exactly what they did."  This was a speech Thatcher gave in 1987.  The author argues that our society has had 30 years of dynamic individualism, which encouraged people to be selfish, desiring "to better themselves, to become wealthier and more successful - and in some cases, more famous."

 

Finally, Landesman writes "Perhaps this narcissistic self-preoccupation doesn't make us more selfish or less caring but by God it does makes us more boring."  It should be noted that in England, Facebook tends to be just as popular and successful like here in America.

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Bluntcard.com

Bluntcard.com | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

I know people have seen these shared with friends on social media mostly for humor, but it says a lot about what we've become of society.  "Bluntcards" are electronic messages shared via email, social media, and word-of-mouth, similar to post cards.  They feature the images of men, women, and children from the past, using a typical art and style you would see in Norman Rockwell's work.

 

The majority of the cards are not appropriate for all audiences.  In fact, it can be difficult to find a bluntcard that doesn't offend someone.  Perhaps this what makes a lot of these cards humorous to view and share?  Regardless, they depict an image of what has become of society, where quite simply, I'm better than you, I'm lazy, and I really don't give a...well, you get the point.

However, sometimes they take an issue that is current and find a way to make humor out of it.  Some examples include the rise of planking, last year's royal wedding, and even making fun of social media itself (i.e. Facebook friend counts).

If you enjoy Bluntcards, you can even purchase phone covers to share on the go, in the real world that is.

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Narcissism on Rise Among American College Students

Narcissism on Rise Among American College Students | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

A new study finds that narcissism over the past 15 years has increased among Americans.

 

"The joint study from San Diego State University and the University of South Alabama, has found that the United States is poised to experience social problems as younger narcissists age and move into positions of power."

 

This rise could provoke a negative impact and cause issues in the future for American society.

"They found the school's student population experienced a surge in narcissistic personality traits from 1994 to 2009. In 1994, 18 percent of students scored 21 or higher on the NPI. By 2009, 34 percent of students at South Alabama scored within that range."

 

Is this an issue, overall?  The fact that self-confidence is on the rise and overall independence within college students has heavily increased over the past decade?  Does this make them stronger?  More ignorant?

 

To answer, knowledge is power.  I feel that in this day and age, the only way to "win" a conversation and prevent trolling, especially among the online crowd, is know something and prove it to be true.  People can say "an iPhone is better than an Android phone," but it all comes down to fact.  One professor once taught me that fact is more expensive than opinion, because one has to do work and research to truly understand something.

 

The fact that narcissism is on the rise in America, within the past decade, seems a bit troubling.  I fear that future college students will develop a tendency to create egos where they banter and refute all claims made by others until they hear something they like.  My other fear is people willing to be open-minded of others' opinions.  It's hard to have an opinion these days without someone having to argue why their opinion is better.

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French artist Orlan: 'Narcissism is important'

WARNING: Video contains image of woman with exposed body (breasts)!  See below for a basic synopsis.

 

Video from The Guardian:

 

Orlan is mostly known for her performance art involving plastic surgery in the 1990s. In the video, it talks about how she had set up a "work of art," or coin slot device 30 years ago, in which people paid 5 Francs to kiss her.  The money would drop through the machine into what Orlan calls "a sex drawer."

Interestingly, she said that women happily paid up for Orlan's kisses, but many of the men were more stingy.

A year after, she nearly died from her pregnancy, to which she found a new love for making her own body a work of art.  She introduced herself to plastic surgery, returning to the operating room a total of 9 times within the decade.

But what's more interesting is the feedback from the commenters on YouTube.  Liked 4 times, TraeNagelMakeup said [quoted] "i think she is a radical exhibitionist who has inspired lady gagas born this way image and she also did the surgery unsedated and reading." Another, liked 3 times, is Falldownallaround's comment: "Association by imagery is what you are being taught at art school. Isn't exhibition technique taught at art school? You need to be seen to be art."

Nearly 140 comments on the YouTube video alone offer a back-and-forth conversation on one's views of art, but also this concept of narcissistic attitudes of self-promotion within the community, especially when it comes to art.

 

Think of it like this: tattoos, body art, piercing.  These works of art have heavily increased in recent years, with many sharing their bodies on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media.

Mind you, the media can influence what people put on their bodies as well.  A friend on Facebook, yesterday, posted an image of his entire upper body, just to show off his small tattoo in the center of his chest.  It was a pineapple, similar to the one seen on the television show, "Spongebob Squarepants."

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Facebook Therapy? Why Do People Share Self-Relevant Content Online?

Facebook Therapy? Why Do People Share Self-Relevant Content Online? | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

I have posted this research purely because it demonstrates the constant need to share one's information on social networking. Whether it be feelings, needs, or wants, these tools give users the ability to create a personality that others can either support or ignore depending on one's attitudes. It is something that has to be made aware when we create our virtual identities, as to what we should and shouldn't post online.

 

"Emotional unstable individuals are more likely to post self-relevant information and write about their emotions when doing so. Further, such emotional writing, paired with the potential to receive social support – as on social networking sites – helps them repair well-being after negative experiences.

The notion that a close other would read what they had written and potentially respond boosted well-being by increasing perceived social support. The findings increase understanding of online behavior and have important implications for emotion regulation and clinical psychology."

 

I find this to be very true.  I, myself, can relate mostly because I don't share anything emotional about my life on social networking.  This is because one study I found shows that people who post negative statuses and images tend to make users on their Friends or followers lists just as unhappy, causing a negative response and relationship between both parties.

 

However, in doing so, this can be very comforting to know that, for example, if you were unable to sleep at 3:00 a.m. because your partner broke up with you and you needed somebody to talk with.  Anybody on your list could easily talk to you that was awake at the hour, and you wouldn't have to bother anyone over the phone, possibly waking them up.  Social media allows users to find connections and support (or backlash) from the ones you've grown to know or discover overtime.

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Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites

Narcissism and Social Networking Web Sites | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

By Laura E. Buffardi and W. Keith Campbell

 

"How might narcissism operate in a social networking Web site? These online communities may be an especially fertile ground for narcissists to self-regulate via social connections for two reasons.

 

First, narcissists function well in the context of shallow (as opposed to emotionally deep and committed) relationships. Social networking Web sites are built on the base of superficial “friendships” with many individuals and “sound-byte” driven communication between friends (i.e., wallposts). Certainly, individuals use social networking sites to maintain deeper relationships as well, but often the real draw is the ability to maintain large numbers of relationships (e.g., many users have hundreds or even thousands of “friends”).

 

Second, social networking Web pages are highly controlled environments (Vazire & Gosling, 2004). Owners have complete power over self-presentation on Web pages, unlike most other social contexts. In particular, one can use personal Web pages to select attractive photographs of oneself or write self-descriptions that are self-promoting. Past research shows that narcissists, for example, are boastful and eager to talk about themselves (Buss & Chiodo, 1991), gain esteem from public glory (Wallace & Baumeister, 2002), are prevalent on reality television (Young & Pinsky, 2006), and enjoy looking at themselves on videotape and in the mirror (Robins & John, 1997). Personal Web pages should present a similar opportunity for self-promotion."

 

I have shared this information as it helps to contribute further towards the idea that social networking can contribute to the rise of narcissism.  It holistically looks at how friendships operate via these services, as well as the idea of controlled information that is shared amongst others.  It's almost like a safe, where only certain people are given the combination, and then there is another safe inside that allows only a select bunch to see that information.

 

Further more, as a result, people can create an online profile of themselves that shares only specific information about themselves to promote who they are.  From there, they can move about the community, sharing images and information with their connected friends to boast to others not being talked to about how connected their relationship is.  Have you ever felt jealous that someone had Tweeted or wrote on another's wall and not your own?  Or do you feel they are communicating with that person to help improve their relationship with that person or organization in hopes of self-promotion?

 

People utilize social media in different ways not simply to feel connected, but to contribute to the party.  They want to say "I did this" and feel accomplished.  By promoting themselves, users can provide content for others to view and determine whether or not this identity created is working for them.  As everything can be made public, users have to bear in mind that what is posted can last forever...or least until the company hosting the data has truly deleted the content from their servers.  Thus, narcissists who enjoy sharing information about themselves can create a habit of being meticulous in what they deliver, both in their virtual communities and in the real world.

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Elon U.: Narcissism linked to Gen Y's obsession with social media

Elon U.: Narcissism linked to Gen Y's obsession with social media | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

The following shows a contradiction between Twenge's book and my assumptions that social media is making us more narcissistic.

 

"Generation Me," written by Jean Twenge, suggests that today's generation is "more self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident and attention-seeking than others" of generations past."

However, some students at Elon University disagree.  Senior Nancy Russell uses social media not to "sell" herself, but rather to stay in touch with her friends.

 

"I used to check it much more during freshmen year, but now I don't have the time," she said.

 

A Communications instructor has both a personal and professional account.  She also believes that this generation isn't any more narcissistic than before.

 

I have to disagree with Twenge as well.  I mean, true, we may be more self-promoting to our previous generations, but her book argues that our generation is "more miserable than ever before."  Are we?

 

I've heard horror stories about how my parents lives used to be, and even a step above that.  Think about what our society now offers: A free plethora of knowledge at our fingertips, automatic plumbing that is state of the art, and food we can hopefully trust is throughly inspected.

Now, I have to argue a little against Nancy Russell.  Although she may state she doesn't "sell" herself on social media, she is doing so whenever she "likes" or connects with company accounts.  Not to mention, if she doesn't have an advertisement blocking plugin installed to her device or browser, she is probably seeing ads as well.

 

I agree with Russell in a sense that I do use social media to stay connect with old friends, colleagues, co-workers, and other people I've met in my real life.  But when we share how our lives have been, don't we typically share the good points?  Like "Oh yeah, I'm now interning at so-and-so and it's a great experience!  I also graduated from this school and have three beautiful children.  My life is really going well."  We typically wouldn't share "I just filed for bankruptcy, cried because I failed my college course, and stole company property."

 

Regardless, a number of individuals and groups have "expressed concern about the overwhelming direction in which the Internet and technology have taken today's youth."  It seems nowadays, we turn to the Internet not as a resource, but almost as a solution to life's problems.  Can this become problematic for tomorrow's generation?  Will they know how to do something or get somewhere without social networking or today's technology?

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The Internet Breeds Narcissism & Conceit

The Internet Breeds Narcissism & Conceit | #iNarcissism | Scoop.it

Posted August 1, 2008

"I am afraid that the internet breeds two dangerous traits in people.

The first is narcissism.  I believe social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are the major culprits here.

They do this for one reason: to prove to all their online stalkers how much fun and exciting their lives are.

FaceBook and MySpace encourage people to stretch the truth of their boring and routine existences to appear as cool as possible."

 

I have to agree with this person's blog post for historically understanding the potential rise in narcissism among individuals on social media.  In addition, it is true that people highlight the best aspects of their lives to others online.

 

However, I have to argue against whether the social networks encourage people to appear simply as "cool."  If we simply post how great our lives are, people will begin to wonder if we are truly human.  They will seek and speak out the moment someone falters and fails at something.

Nobody ever wants to be boring and everyone wants to be cool, but I have to strongly argue that people have to remain true to their real world identities as possible to appear human.  But many may argue against me that people escape to social media from the real world so they can appear awesome to those they connect with.  This is fine, but it can become a problem if people catch you being shady at times. 

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