“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”. This perhaps is the most famous line one can remember from the classic, Snow White.
And as years and generations pass by, this line from the fairy tale that was the first-ever cartoon shown on silver screen has been proven never to be obsolete and has evolved to be applicable to new social media today, particularly social networking sites.
In August 30 2010, an article was published in CNN.com that says:
Facebook, indeed, reinforces narcissism to some users who love ‘broadcasting’ themselves. Narcissism is defined by Wikipedia.org as “the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness”. In fact, there is a personality disturbance in psychology distinguished as narcissistic personality disorder which is considered to be a mental disorder as well.
As youth becomes addicted to Facebook, it can be said that they have more and strong tendency on becoming narcissistic. The advent of new social media emphasized even more the ‘me-generation’. Since everyone can speak up their minds in the Internet, everyone has the chance to project themselves in whatever way they want to. And in this sense, no one sets the limit. In my opinion, the following can be said to characterize narcissistic tendencies among Facebook users:
- having a profile picture of a person’s face occupying the entire photo or a picture with that person’s ‘best’ pose
- having hundreds of photos in one album (and those pictures are taken from a single location with the person just changing the camera’s angle; with one single smile or facial expression most of the time)
- having boastful posts or statuses
- changing a status every second trying hard to catch the attention of those who are online (it’s like: ‘I’m drinking an awesome juice my boyfriend made for me. *a second later* ‘Finished drinking the juice blah blah blah…)
- giving harsh or not so favorable comments to others’ posts
- changing profile picture almost everyday
- having other messages, status, or comments that imply selfishness or too much self-glorification
I may have missed other of those symptoms but one thing is true: new social media impact people, particularly the youth, beyond monitors.
By the way, do you think you are an online Narcissus?