Narcissism In Social Media Essay

1414 words - 6 pages

Social Media sites are making narcissists dreams come true! Narcissism is the term known for “an exceptional interest in or admiration for oneself, especially their physical appearance. It is a consuming self-absorption or self-love which is a type of egotism. Narcissists are continually assessing their appearance, desires, feelings, and abilities” (The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy). I will show several studies that are now showing documentation of a rise of narcissism amongst millennials; the generation born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, otherwise known as “Generation Me.” They tend to spend hours on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, which encourage self-promotion and as a result of this new found connection are ultimately changing our social networks at home and in public, resulting in users to focus on themselves and become unrealistic in their own accomplishments and distort connections with the real people, and circumstances in their lives.
Some would say that self-promotion on public websites has more to do with building a strong self-esteem; Self-esteem is described as “confidence in our ability to think, confidence in our ability to cope with the basic challenges of life, and confidence in our right to be successful and happy” (Branden). People with appropriate levels of self-esteem are assured in their right to feel worthy, enjoy the fruits of their efforts, and assert their needs and wants (Branden). He goes on to say “self-esteem is an essential human need that is vital for survival and normal, moreover healthy development arises automatically from within based upon a person's beliefs and consciousness. Finally self-esteem occurs in conjunction with a person's thoughts, behaviors, feelings and actions” (Branden). A strong self-esteem isn’t the same as narcissism. Dr. Lisa Firestone explains this well in the following statement; “Self-esteem differs from narcissism in that it represents an attitude built on accomplishments we’ve mastered, values we’ve latched onto, and care we’ve shown toward others. Narcissism, conversely, is often based on ”a fear of failure or weakness, a focus on one’s self, an unhealthy drive to be seen as the best, and a deep-seated insecurity and underlying feeling of inadequacy”(Firestone).
Narcissism takes self-esteem to new heights, and those people who are truly narcissistic are often times are hard to detect. Narcissists are great at being chameleons. They are known for being smart, confident, and articulate, and usually very charming when we first get to know them. Oftentimes they are obnoxious, and love themselves anyway…at least outwardly. More striking — and more surprising — they were aware that people who knew them well did not have quite the same high opinion of them. They acknowledged that those people would indeed see them as self-absorbed and disagreeable. But they also believed that their close friends continued to see them as funny, attractive,...

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