Facebook: Helping Narcissism Since 2004

                Narcissism is the obsession of one’s self. It’s a trait that can strikes any soul, young or old, and seems to be found more easily through our online social media, like Facebook and Twitter. Without aid to this trait and its partner in crime, media, then it’ll probably be likely we see ourselves evolve into self-loved media users who someday develop its sister, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Narcissism is Alive

                For instance the online article, Me, Myself, and My Museum on Facebook, states that we use media sources like Facebook to create a montage of our real or false lives, giving us the capability to enhance how important we really are to the world, but in reality we’re our only audience. This type of behavior encourages narcissism, and provides evidence as to how it has become an everyday tool for such people. New York Times Debates Article emphasizes that narcissists use social media to thrive in society, and are more frequent to use Facebook and Twitter; it’s stated that they’ll often post more provocative pictures as well to gain attention.  

                New York Times later adds that sympathy has decreased in the past three decades, with an increase in narcissism to follow. This provides an eerie question to arise in the mind: is narcissism potentially attached to online bullying? With narcissists posting vulnerable pictures of themselves it gives the audience availability to post feedback as they please, sometimes not very positive. This type of vulnerability creates a cycle with social media, with users using the once popular Myspace to brag about themselves, and then when negative feedback arises they turn to Facebook for a self-esteem boost. According to Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research if narcissists don’t obtain their self-esteem boost than it can lead to jealousy and bullying, with 27.8% people admitting to moderate jealousy and 16.7% to extreme jealousy who noticed others receiving more feedback online then themselves, causing them to make other’s feel small and inferior (keep in mind such studies were performed on individuals who suffer from NPD). Comscore.com adds that in October 2011 fifty-five percent of the world’s global audience belonged to Facebook usage, and that every one-in-seven minutes were spent online, with three-to-four minutes directed at social networking; Giovanna Bargh, of visual.ly, says one of seven minutes are spent on Facebook. Giovanna Bargh Chart

                As a result, this frequent interaction with media, as previously stated, allows the human race to inherit narcissistic traits and narcissists to improve and distribute themselves in a new lime light. In reality we seem to be opening the door to developing Narcissistic Disorder.

To Be or Not To Be, A Narcissistic Lifestyle Question…

                However, not everyone feels this way about narcissism and social media. Rather Jean Twenge, of Opposing Viewpoints in Context, states that we have indeed raised a generation (Generation Y) of narcissists who self-indulge, but also provide less harm to themselves. She states that Generation Y holds higher expectations for themselves, for example, scoring high on SAT or ACT, achieving perfect academic standards, and finding the cure for cancer. She continues to add that this perfection for one’s self provides good behavior, with evidence that shows such; in 1977 twenty-nine percent of high school students smoked, since 2006 only twelve percent smoke, a decrease by more than half, along with such a drastic decrease in smoking forty-three percent of drug usage has drop, followed by a third of alcohol usage. Could these really just be the desire for perfection though? As time has moved on from the seventies the lime light of drugs and drinking has decreased, with doctors frequently stressing on the damage it causes to the body.

                Regardless to such facts, Twenge still marches on, expressing other great decreases like the last quarter century seeing a fall in juvenile detention teen pregnancy. If that is so why is it that when you turn on a television set you see shows that have kids in prison (Beyond Scared Straight),  women who encourage hostile behavior to others (Bad Girls Club), or girls who get pregnant to be on television (Teen Mom). 

                A 2010 paper published by NIH.gov, It Is Developmental Me, Not Generation Me, also argues that it’s not social media and people who are narcissists, but its youth, and that as we age we get over ourselves. If that’s the case why is it that NPD is found just as frequent in youth as is it is people who are sixty-fixe or older; according to Joel Stein of Time Magazine.  

                To put it briefly, the next time someone’s on social media find a way to prevent narcissism, because it does not aid today’s society.

 

Reference

Twenge, J. (2013, September 24). You Like Me! You Really Like Me!. The New York Times Opinion Page. Retrieved November 16, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/09/23/facebook-and-narcissism/social-media-is-a-narcissism-enabler

It’s a Social World: Social Networking Leads as Top Online Activity Globally, Accounting for 1 in Every 5 Online Minutes – comScore, Inc. (2011, December 21). comScore, Inc. Retrieved November 16, 2013, from http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2011/12/Social_Networking_Leads_as_Top_Online_Activity_Globally

“Me, myself and my museum on Facebook.” Australian [National, Australia] 13 June 2011: 22. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Chapman, Steve. “Have We Raised a Generation of Narcissists?” Reason.com. (21 May 2007). Rpt. in The Millennial Generation. Ed. David Haugen and Susan Musser. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

Bedwan, N. (2012, November 17). Facebook, Facebook, On My Wall…: How Facebook Contributes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder > Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research >CSU Channel Islands. Facebook, Facebook, On My Wall…: How Facebook Contributes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder > Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research >CSU Channel Islands. Retrieved November 22, 2013 from http://sccur.csuci.edu/abstract/viewabstract/facebook-on-my-wall-how-facebook-contributes-to-narcissistic-personality-disorder.htm

Stein, J. (n.d). Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation. Time.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from http://content.time.com/time/magazine/articles/0,9171,2143001,00.html

It Is Developmental Me, Not Generation Me. (2010, January 1). NCBI. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3020091/

Bargh, G. (2013, January 3). Sign up for a Visual.ly account. 100 Social Networking Statistics & Facts for 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from http://visual.ly/100-social-networking-statistics-facts-2012

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