are you shallow and insecure? egocentric? imbued with a false sense of your importance and popularity? maybe even, well let’s be fair, a jerk? okay, the clinic term is narcissist and it’s a disease that is so tragic and profound that it doesn’t even have a celebrity spokesperson.
the university of michigan has released a study that concludes that social media sites like twitter and facebook draw in narcissists who want to bolster their fragile egos, control everybody’s great opinion of them, and post about what they are having for dinner. study director elliot panek says that young narcissists opt for twitter while middle aged narcissists (a.k.a. jerks) use facebook.
“young people overvaluate the importance of their opinion,” he says. “through twitter, they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.”
middle aged narcissists, according to this study, choose facebook. slow, stately facebook.
“it’s about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image,” said panek. “middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles.”
okay, well, glad we cleared all this up for everybody. young narcissists and middle aged narcissists . . . we gotta ask. . .
me? i’m on facebook, i’m middle aged, i’m willing to entertain all diagnoses.
just in case you’re curious–as near as i can figure out elliot panek is a linkedin social media user. wonder what that means?
June 12th, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Oh, I think many bloggers fit the bill just as easily…
June 12th, 2013 at 10:40 pm
brett, i think i have to cop to narcissism and i appreciate that others fit the category as well. i recall reading christopher lasch’s culture of narcissism in college and i’m surprised at how prescient he is!
June 13th, 2013 at 1:12 am
Don’t get me wrong, Arlynn. I’m not trying to be judgmental. My reaction to this comes in two parts: first, than blogging shouldn’t be left out of any discussion of current manifestations of the behavior and, second, that narcissism is a natural and healthy stepping stone behavior. It is something we all need to indulge in and sometimes take to its limits before we can be aware of the limitations of it and are primed for the next step in our life journey… 🙂
June 13th, 2013 at 1:44 am
totally no judgment. one of the things i wondered is what the university of michigan folks would think of blogging which is, in some sense, the ultimate in designing one’s own universe. and i agree that narcissism is actually a good thing when it is part of a plan to progress spiritually. you and i have a lot in common about our perspectives i think! much love. . .