Has social networking turned us into narcissists or has it simply fed off the narcissistic qualities humans naturally have? Chances are, nobody really cares about the status updates you post on Facebook (with the exception of your closest friends and relatives). Because we broadcast something out into the Internet, we think that someone will respond. But in reality, we’re throwing a tiny particle out into a sea of billions of tiny particles, hoping to be noticed.
I remember, back in the good old days of MySpace, there was something called “pc4pc” which stood for “photo comment for photo comment.” It was used as a caption under photos of oneself in order to solicit comments (they could be positive or negative, but most of the time, it would be something insincerely positive). The “pc4pc” rule obligated you to then comment on a photo of the person who commented on yours. Basically, an attention-getting, “notice me!” kind of scheme.
Because of our human nature, we want to stand out from the crowd. We want to be popular, admired, and noticed. We want everyone to read our blogs and perhaps our secret desire is to become a blogging celebrity like Perez Hilton or Arianna Huffington. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s one thing to blog because we love it and quite another thing to blog solely because we crave attention and self-aggrandizement.
It’s the same with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any other social networking site. We shouldn’t be on there to be boastful and arrogant, expecting everyone to pay attention to every picture and status update we post. After all, (this is a favorite maxim of mine) people, by and large, are mainly interested in themselves.
I think that social networking hasn’t turned us into narcissists, but has inflated our already self-absorbed qualities. So the next time you plan to post something on Facebook or Twitter, think about whether anyone is actually going to care… or if you’re just posting it for yourself.
Edit: (3/20/2012) Auburn Berry from Newsy sent me a link to an interesting video regarding Facebook and narcissism. Below is the embedded video: