No, really. Are we all narcissists now?
According to my friend Google, narcissism means an “excessive interest in oneself.” And who isn’t interested in themselves these days? We have all these online platforms where we assume it’s our duty to show off our smiling friends, our lunch of avocado toast, and each and every one of our successes no matter how small or big. It’s all about “me,” and the “follower ratio” and the validation of “likes.”
At least that’s what millennials are told. That we’re the “most narcisstic generation to ever walk the face of the earth.” Are these social scientists that far off?
The best evidence for this narcissism epidemic — as the non-millennials refer to it — is the “selfie.” We all do it, and I won’t pretend that I’m above it. There are Instagram’s to prove it. But I have a theory that although Instagram may be the more public selfie platform, Snapchat is the space most strongly perpetuating this so-called epidemic. Think about it — how many selfies do you take in a single day, or even in a single hour, just to send to someone on Snapchat? I took a lot more before deleting my Snapchat, and the recognition of how often it enabled me to stare at myself was one of the primary reason I deleted the app.
Is Snapchat the cause of millennial narcissism? Probably not.
And I don’t know if millennials are inherently more narcissistic than other generations? My guess is that, as digital natives, we’re just more apt to show it on the Internet.
My own narcissism is something I often joke about. Not because I’m trying to be self-important by any means, but more so because I think I can appear that way online (and I prefer to not take social media that seriously). I didn’t start this blog because I thought I had the best opinion, I just thought I had one to share. That’s the case with almost everything I decide to post for the public to see. Although it’s a distinction that probably can’t be made unless you met me IRL (“in real life,” for you non-millennials). Some friends thought my blog was self-promotion when I first started it. And in a way it was, but only in the most professional sense.
Does that make me a narcissist? Pls tell me (read: validate me). JK jk.