We all have that annoying aunt or an uncle who posts selfies every day and even tag us on their posts. We all have that friend who posts throwback pictures of their vacation all the time. We all have that friend who posts quotes to show their magnanimity. Social media has a medium of expression for the people to glorify themselves and seek attention promoting narcissism.Last year in Nepal, a teenager girl got drowned when she was going to save her friend who slipped into the Narayani River while the two were taking selfies. Such cases are rising in number as it has been a necessity for the social media users to upload pictures of their gateways on their social media accounts, which is manifesting narcissistic behavior in them.
The blooming of users on social media has transfigured the sense of identity to a next level. We can see how social media has transformed the private sphere into a public domain, where anyone can easily get access to know how you feel, what’s in your mind and where and with whom you are traveling to. Social media can be applauded for increasing the social interaction and bringing change in the news patterns but it has surely made its users narcissistic and self-promoter.Professor of psychology at San Diego State University, Jean M. Twen coined the term” Generation Me” to describe the narcissistic behavioral change among the users of social media.
He has strongly argued that social media has led to inflation of ego, lack of empathy and highly reactive to criticism. Social media is used by the “Generation Y” mostly to brag about their lifestyle.Social media has been a hub for getting popularity.
Millions of users posts photos, status, check-in posts regularly to show their friends and family that they are having a lot of fun. Everyone is concerned with their appearances on social media which makes them download various photo editing apps. Profile pictures are heavily edited and are often placed with big captions and quotes glorifying themselves.There is a huge debate regarding whether social media promotes narcissism or it is just a tool used to postulate the already existing narcissism. But we can surely accept that social media is used as a vehicle by the narcissist to brag and feed their egos.According to a study by LendEDU, Instagram is the most narcissist social media platform. Snap chat, Twitter, and Facebook fall in the consecutive rankings.Social media has a lot of features that make the users get easily connected with their family and friends.
Snap chat, Instagram, and Facebook have story features which enable its users to show what they did in their day. These features have attributed the users to project their grandiosity and embellish about their happenings just to gain attention.Social media has added a layer of pressure to the teenagers. Their concern is now to be social savvy. Likes and shares have been synonymous with prestige and power.
Friends and followers culture has been a determining factor for popularity.In a journal published by Personal and Individual, 2015 it was stated that the narcissist users on social media responded more aggressively to derogatory comments and changer their display pictures more often.What social media has affected psychologically is that it has manifested exhibitionistic and attention seeking traits among the users. As the users can self-promote themselves on social media they try to portray themselves as trendy and likable but they may be completely contradictory and unrealistic. They spike their persona through their statuses and pictures in order to maximize their grandiose image.
It has been a convenient way for the people to fit with others in social media. What social media does is that it builds a community and people are longing to belong to it. For it, they can reach a level where they postulate their inflated image just to get recognized among the community members even if they are completely different people.Likes and followers are dictating the users what to post and what not to. They are pondering to be someone else just to remain popular in their social circle. According to a study by the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, social media narcissists are more write or share self-promotional posts rather than informative ones and they are likely to use profane words and pronouns like “I”. Self-comparison is in the state of rising up because of social media.
People compare their lifestyle with those of others and often are involved in self-image inflation and distortion. This result in high projection of them to be others, to wear clothes like others, to eat in the eateries like others and for it, they try to present themselves superior and unique.Social media can be a megaphone for amplifying the level of narcissism. What needs to be taught is that the reel life and real life are quite different and inflation of ego must be controlled to back the use of social media for good purposes.