Social Media and Narcissism | INFJ Forum

Social Media and Narcissism

PintoBean

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May 18, 2015
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Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm curious what you think. Do you see a connection between social media and the rise of narcissism? My evidence is only anecdotal, but I've noticed many narcissistic traits emerge in people as their use of social media grew. I don't know if this just means someone's FB or Instagram becomes a "narcissism safe zone" and they are otherwise normal in their offline lives, or if they actually become more narcissistic due the culture of selifies and consumerism embraced by things like instagram. What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to elaborate and take the issue beyond just the questions I've posed here. Any insight appreciated, thanks
 
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I have a "friend" who I am drifting away from because of the narcissistic tendencies she has developed. She was always popular, but humble. However with the way Facebook has been going, and her on a trillion online dating sites, and she friends all the people she messages on those sites, the more she posts pictures, the more compliments she gets, the more she posts pictures, the more compliments and round and round and round and over and over again. It has gone to her head so bad, that if god forbid someone hit on me, she wants to know who they are, where i met them, why didnt they hit on her first. Also if someone is interested in her, and then changes their interest to me, though i always tell her, and would never take a man from her, she will then hit that person hot and heavy to get their attention again, especially if they have money.
 
I actually thought about this the other day, and people who take selfies in front of bathroom mirrors. I wanted to create a poll to see if mostly S's would have this tendency, while N's would not. The "I" and "E" doesn't make as much of a difference on the internet, so my thought was that it must be an S and N difference. Maybe I'm completely wrong. :)
 
I have a "friend" who I am drifting away from because of the narcissistic tendencies she has developed. She was always popular, but humble. However with the way Facebook has been going, and her on a trillion online dating sites, and she friends all the people she messages on those sites, the more she posts pictures, the more compliments she gets, the more she posts pictures, the more compliments and round and round and round and over and over again...

I have noticed this quite a few times. I also find social media to be a dialogue killer. The person is too often speaking into a black hole of sorts where only over-the-top, positive feedback is heard, and only "likes" count. I noticed that trying to interject with any other than a rah-rah soundbite type comment is met with actual hostility, then block and delete. It seems people aren't really interested in any real interaction or conversation with anything but a chorus of admirers. It's like talking to yourself really (and not your highest self). So if that's not narcissism, I don't know what its.
 
I think social media allows an outlet for already existent narcissistic tendencies in people, social media does not directly create narcissism but it does create it by proxy of encouraging it. There are also equal amounts of people that want to look at and watch the narcissistic people even if they are not necessarily narcissistic themselves and it creates a feedback loop, without an audience narcissism would have much less of an appeal and without narcissism there would be less for the watchers to watch.
 
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I actually thought about this the other day, and people who take selfies in front of bathroom mirrors. I wanted to create a poll to see if mostly S's would have this tendency, while N's would not. The "I" and "E" doesn't make as much of a difference on the internet, so my thought was that it must be an S and N difference. Maybe I'm completely wrong. :)

Yeah, lol, at the bathroom selifes. I can't help but laugh when I see some chick all glammed up...with a toilet in the immediate background. I've found it interesting that the internet has really become a place where I can connect with other INFJ types, which has been nice. I think I get to connect with more "I" types in general because off the internet, they would be far more difficult to engage with.
 
[video=youtube;gHQ0aITCUeE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHQ0aITCUeE[/video]
 
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dykc9k.jpg
 
It's the ultimate battle between one's authentic self vs. the self we create for public consumption. Being authentic and true to our innate nature and personality implies that we are not "swayed" by external stimuli, influence and force. No matter how tempting to be swayed and to have our ego's stroked; i think the biggest detriment is not narcissism but more suppression of the authentic self and failing to bring light to it. Even though social media is inundated with "fake personalities" - there does exist people who are being authentic and sharing their true authenticity via their talents, expression and overall courage to be themselves. I think social media forces us to question our own authenticity and validity because a truly authentic person can still "appear" narcissistic because they have honed in on their true expression and not afraid to share it. of course I am taking this stance for those that are somewhat learned and have common sense and i am not even touching on the low frequency of wretched and degrading behaviors we see; as they speak for themselves and don't need to be clarified.
 
My evidence is only anecdotal, but I've noticed many narcissistic traits emerge in people as their use of social media grew.

Spooky as I was thinking about this on Sunday! A number of events took place over the weekend which got me thinking about narcissists, social media and the “fear of missing out.”

Would you be able to share some of your anecdotal observations as I’d like to think about ideas/possibilities that I may not have considered...if it's OK to share?

I don't know if this just means someone's FB or Instagram becomes a "narcissism safe zone" and they are otherwise normal in their offline lives....

This got me interested....just rambling...is there such a thing as a "narcissism safe zone" and are they ever normal in their offline lives..."
 
I think social media allows an outlet for already existent narcissistic tendencies in people, social media does not directly create narcissism but it does create it by proxy of encouraging it.

YES, YES, YES
 
My brother-in-law has NPD tendencies. He has a FB account but he isn’t an active user - he’s not a socialite but his wife is. He logs into his wife’s account and feeds on the information he finds out about other people. He then makes a pretence of not knowing anything but “just happens” to drop things into conversations in order to gather even more information. He sucks at lying (to me anyway).

Only my opinion but I think he uses social media to feed the information he gathers on people to feed other people which ultimately always keeps him in the limelight and at the forefront of every conversation.

My hubby and I are not on FB (in fact this is the only social media platform I’m on) so he struggles to get any information on us, our whereabouts, what we’re doing, who we’ve been talking to, but somehow will navigate and negotiate his way in order to find out….there’s something about the not knowing which he struggles with and not being part of something that intrigues me. This urgency and the need to know, to be the first to know….

If hubby and I are round at his parents having dinner (and dinner generally tends to be around the same time every evening), the house phone is guaranteed to ring. No one answers it (because we are in the middle of our dinner and secretly we all know who it is)….the phone goes to messages, no message is left but the phone rings again. This is then the signal and command to everyone that it’s “Me” pick up now! Often my hubby will say, “just leave it” and if the phone isn’t answered then his brother will try to skype! At this point, his father will answer it (excuse my hmmmm sarcastic tone… because anyone would think there’s an emergency)…..there never is! After a few minutes of “entertaining” him, his dad politely tries to say goodbye saying we are in the middle of dinner etc….he completely ignores him and carries on with whatever!

So many stories but I shall shut up now!
 
Would you be able to share some of your anecdotal observations as I’d like to think about ideas/possibilities that I may not have considered...if it's OK to share?
This got me interested....just rambling...is there such a thing as a "narcissism safe zone" and are they ever normal in their offline lives..."

No problem. One situation comes to mind makes me think of a female friend of mine who lives in a different state. We used to e-mail daily and chat on the phone frequently. She then started a blog which involved lots of pics of her wearing different styles of makeup. I was supportive as she was interested in makeup artistry. She got many blog followers and became very involved in the beauty blogosphere culture, which seemed to consist mainly of 14 year old girls who like to hoard vast amounts of makeup. At that point her communications became more shallow, intentionally spelled and punctuated incorrectly. She no longer answered her phone or returned calls. She started an instagram account, which again consisted of many selfies she took of her wearing different styles of makeup, as well as pictures of makeup she purchased. She developed thousands of followers and her texts degenerated to a petulant, misspelled baby talk peppered with swearing. It wouldn't be weird but for the fact she is actually an intelligent, interesting and accomplished person as evidenced in the previous 20 years of our friendship. All communications were about her, her looks, her purchases and possibly if she had a health concern such as if she sneezed and went to the allergist. No major falling out or anything, but after social media, she seemed to develop a new, and not very interesting or nice personality. Life, as communicated by her via social media, seems to consist of staring into one's phone. If that is not falling into one's own reflection, I don't know what is.
 
My brother-in-law has NPD tendencies. He has a FB account but he isn’t an active user - he’s not a socialite but his wife is. He logs into his wife’s account and feeds on the information he finds out about other people. He then makes a pretence of not knowing anything but “just happens” to drop things into conversations in order to gather even more information. He sucks at lying (to me anyway).

This is is more accurate to Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Many think of "narcissism" as being self-involved, but that's not usually the case. True Narcissists aren't going to post selfies because they would have to perfect each image, ensuring they look so amazing that no one would be able to critique. They'd have to ensure the image gave off the correct emotion or persona to fit everyone in their circles. A quick snapshot would never do. They would rather seek out information to use others for personal gain.

I think Facebook is showing people's weaknesses and longing to fit in and be loved and accepted. Narcissists don't play those games. They just don't care.


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I think that everybody is aware, for the most part, of the image they project to the rest of the world both online and offline. And that ironically, those that are able to look the most blameless are actually the most controlling of this, taking into consideration the existence of "narcissism" or not.
 
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That is why I don't do facebook. I want to connect with people in a more tangible, meaningful, and intimate way: Not for show. It's more difficult than I thought it would be online, where I often hold back too often, as do others, understandably. Many of us are anonymously faceless, just how I like it. That way I can focus on content. I often dream of the kind of society before electicity.
 
I think that everybody is aware, for the most part, of the image they project to the rest of the world both online and offline. And that ironically, those that are able to look the most blameless are actually the most controlling of this, taking into consideration the existence of "narcissism" or not.

thats what i want to be like! i need to get a facebook!
 
I actually thought about this the other day, and people who take selfies in front of bathroom mirrors. I wanted to create a poll to see if mostly S's would have this tendency, while N's would not. The "I" and "E" doesn't make as much of a difference on the internet, so my thought was that it must be an S and N difference. Maybe I'm completely wrong. :)
We don't do it more. We just look better in them.
 
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No problem. One situation comes to mind makes me think of a female friend of mine who lives in a different state. We used to e-mail daily and chat on the phone frequently. She then started a blog which involved lots of pics of her wearing different styles of makeup. I was supportive as she was interested in makeup artistry. She got many blog followers and became very involved in the beauty blogosphere culture, which seemed to consist mainly of 14 year old girls who like to hoard vast amounts of makeup. At that point her communications became more shallow, intentionally spelled and punctuated incorrectly. She no longer answered her phone or returned calls. She started an instagram account, which again consisted of many selfies she took of her wearing different styles of makeup, as well as pictures of makeup she purchased. She developed thousands of followers and her texts degenerated to a petulant, misspelled baby talk peppered with swearing. It wouldn't be weird but for the fact she is actually an intelligent, interesting and accomplished person as evidenced in the previous 20 years of our friendship. All communications were about her, her looks, her purchases and possibly if she had a health concern such as if she sneezed and went to the allergist. No major falling out or anything, but after social media, she seemed to develop a new, and not very interesting or nice personality. Life, as communicated by her via social media, seems to consist of staring into one's phone. If that is not falling into one's own reflection, I don't know what is.

OK I understand - thanks for the details/context around your situation.

That's quite a drastic change in her personality (huge!), from chatting/emailing frequently to not returning calls particularly as your friendship spans a 20 year period. I can appreciate why you would question the influence of social media in this situation but perhaps….

I think social media allows an outlet for already existent narcissistic tendencies in people, social media does not directly create narcissism but it does create it by proxy of encouraging it.

Were you aware of any pre-existing narcissistic tendencies before her new-found fame?
 
Human nature has both light and dark elements to it

Which side shows itself more depends on which side we feed

Which side we feed will often depend on our culture

So a shitty culture will encourage shitty behaviour

We live in a shitty culture pushed on us by shitty people who want to bring out the most shitty side of human nature

People will go along with the status quo as long as they are not consciously aware of how it is a falsely created construct and how they are being manipulated into it