In modern society of technologies, Internet and Social Networks Epidemics, people divided into two types –those who want to show themselves to everyone and those who follow “celebrities”. The most popular social network is Facebook for sure. However just 4 years ago a new social network INSTAGRAM appeared. It became the most popular social network based on photos. Instagram was founded in October 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and in April 2012 Facebook bought it for 1 billion of dollars. In century of Plastic surgery, fashion fever, silicone, botox and other “beauty tricks” everyone wants to seem more attractive, more smart and interesting than actually is.
At www.mayoclinic.org narcissism is defined as mental disorder when a person considers him/herself more important than really is, when an individual feels lack of empathy for others and strong need to be admired. This leads to problems in personal life, at work or school. Behind the mask of self-confidence and high self-esteem there is always a vulnerable person who wants to be loved, adored and needs constant care and attention.
Social media has created images of an ideal man and ideal woman, of their ideal life. As a result everyone wants to follow these images. A man has to be fit and well-dressed, mainly with beard and driving an expensive car, intelligent, eating in expensive restaurants and visiting gym, reading scientific or business journals, playing any kind of sport. Hollywood also influenced this image greatly. A woman has to have long hair, Hollywood appearance, go to gym, be active and smart. As to appearance, these are big eyes, thick lips, perfect eyebrows, fit body and tanned skin. A woman has to eat little, love flowers and animals. And for sure both should make photos of their luxury full of events life.
Jean M. Twenge and some of her colleagues in 2008 used questionnaire developed in 80s which requires to choose between two statements like “I don’t particularly like to show off my body”/“I like to show off my body.” This analysis shows that narcissism has risen for 30% comparing with 1970s. This is mainly caused by growth of social network use. As surveys show, spending time on Face boor raise self-esteem and can lead to narcissism. People who post more photos, statuses are more likely to face this problem.
Young people try to create their image in social media, show that their life is interesting, they are keen on “collecting” friends and followers, try to become more and more popular. But this is actually only an illusion. Selfies has become very popular in recent years. Internet is full of such pictures and people even make fun of it, but when you post a nice picture or interesting status, which gets many likes you feel happy and more confident. As a result you feel a strong need to get more likes, you spend your time not with friends and family, but in social networks, look down on people who are less popular in web than you are.
There is a legend about Narcissus in Greek mythology. He was so self-fixed that drawn in pool looking at his own reflection in water. The same may happen to anyone who spends time looking at his/her reflection in social networks.
How often do you change you status? How many pictures do you upload? How often do you refresh your page to check number of likes, followers, friends?
Social media cannot substitute real life. No matter how many friends you have on Facebook, followers in Instagram or likes, they will never support you if you feel bad or have problems. If you become fixed on yourself, drawn in social media and suffer from narcissism, look down on people who used to love you real, you will never get a hand of help. Decide what is more important to have people who will hug you or to have a like on your post!
Quenqua, D. (August 5, 2013) Seeing Narcissists Everywhere. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/seeing-narcissists-everywhere.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Twenge, J. (September 24, 2013) Social Media Is a Narcissism Enabler. Retrived from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/09/23/facebook-and-narcissism/social-media-is-a-narcissism-enabler