Is Social Media a Form of Narcissism?

Zoputa Difini, Staff Writer

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One day I was on my laptop doing work when I came across this question: “Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?”

This really made me stop and think. To be a narcissist you must be extremely self-absorbed; one who finds pleasure in any topic that involves oneself. In thinking about it, I realized that, yes, this is the case for a lot of people – I have certainly seen this in my peers – but I realized that when brought into the spectrum of the impact that social media has on others, narcissism is on one end while on the other are people who suffer from depression and low self-esteem. In all honesty, which would you rather be?

A narcissist is someone who, to others, appears vain and egotistical. However, to me this type of behavior is not representative of narcissism, but confidence – perhaps with a little bit too much arrogance mixed in. Of course social media is seen as a narcissist’s paradise as it allows for almost endless self-adulation and promotion. Again, though, I think it is important to look closer and see that while social media is certainly full of self-promotion, it is also a place that brings people up, lifting them out of self-pity and loneliness. Focusing on the positive of social media means looking at the compliments given to people on the various platforms, the praise addressed to beautiful people, and the smile that comes to their face. We need to realize that social media is not simply a curse, but is, in some ways, a blessing.

So, yes, social media has turned us into narcissists. But this narcissism is not simply a self-indulgent and negative thing. Social media has increased our confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth, at times making us come off as cocky, and self-centered. But this is a price I think we as a society should be willing to pay because if we are not celebrating ourselves or others on social media, we may be battling and degrading others, forcing them to feel they are lesser than they are. I don’t see becoming a narcissist due to social media being a bad thing because there are indeed worse things in this world.

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