Social Media and Narcissism.
- Some people are narcissists.
- Social media is not an evil that creates narcissism.
- There are social people.
Over the past few months, research after research has interpreted social media as a flourishing oasis for narcissists. People guffaw at apparent simpletons who regurgitate mundane information into the social online realm — a favorite, boisterous joke being made about updating people on the contents of the day’s meals.
Social Media is blamed for it’s evil narcissism via marketing. “Just tons of businesses trying to advertise for free – there aren’t any valuable conversations out there,” I imagine someone in a lab coat proudly announcing to the press.
There are social businesses. There are social individuals. You can promote and be social – and not narcissistic.
There are people who are social on social networking sites. If not, how do we have tweetups, plan events on Facebook, interact with bands on Myspace and make new business connections on LinkedIn?
We’re not all narcissists, nor does the use of social media turn us into narcissists.
Social Media and the Need for Community
- We’ve redrawn our neighborhood lines to no longer be geographical, but digital.
I often think about the past, when neighborhoods weren’t urban planning and drawn lines, but communities.
Neighbors would get together and talk about the weather, how work was, the latest science fair their daughter won and their nephew’s favorite superhero costume.
We lost that community.
And then regained it – online.
A good example of online community was GeoCities – users created digital neighborhoods based on interests. And Twitter – surprisingly successful – fills some of the need of “everyday” communication. We’re talking to a community about our day, about our daughter’s science fair, about the boring class lecture and just how much it cost us to fix that car.