Social media and narcissism

Monday, June 22, 2015

It seems there is more armchair diagnosing of narcissism and calling people “narcissists” than ever before and social media is often the trigger of it and takes the blame. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined by the symptoms of behaviours of grandiosity and lack of self-awareness, an abnormal need for admiration, and often a lack of empathy toward others. While even a cursory look at one’s social media feed will show posts which seem to promote (and perhaps exaggerate) achievements and certainly the visual aspects of social media are preoccupied with appearance, beauty, status and success. While celebrity news and popular culture has for some time been permeated with these characteristics, this last decade has offered celebrity in the suburbs where everyone on YouTube can “broadcast yourself”, personal websites and blogs are de jure, and to exist without social media is seemingly to not exist at all.

Almost two and a half millennia ago Socrates wrote that “to do is to be” while now it seems that “to tweet is to be”. Such is the popularity of such communication platforms, if social media sites were countries, Facebook would be the world’s largest country with more active accounts than there are people in China. Twitter would rank 4th with twice the “population” of the USA and Instagram would round out the Top 10. While the speed of adoption of these communication platforms has been unprecedented- all of this occurring in less than a decade, the reasons for the take-up are varied. Certainly much social media activity is push-communication, with users wanting to publicise their latest activities and status, for many social media use is a genuine attempt to connect, to engage and to listen. However our latest research shows this latter group comprises just 1 in 5 social media users: the contributors who participate via social media as in any community- to share and participate, speak and listen, connect and contribute. Such are these times that the larger proportion of social media users- almost 4 in 5 are consumers, who largely use social media as an update channel to see what others are up to, and when posting something themselves, it is more broadcast and generic than personal and connective.

Most behavioural experts agree that narcissism is a condition not of biology but society- it is the social context not the genetic factors that are causal. In a world of always-connected, app-ready, mobile device saturated living, where every phone is a camera and we are ever just a few clicks away from posting our next contribution it is clear that social media has created an environment conducive to the growth of narcissism. However the apparent rise of narcissism may be more a factor of social media highlighting its existence and narcissistic-type behaviours rather than of itself creating more narcissism. Indeed some of the negative press social media receives is unwarranted. Selfies are given as the ultimate sign of narcissistic times, and combined with today’s must-have item- the selfie stick, an indicator of self-obsession. However most selfies are more “groupies” – not photos of oneself by oneself, but of a group and sent to other friends. Many (though not all) selfies are more about sharing a life journey rather than an unashamed exercise in self-promotion. So too the “status update”, the Instagram account and the personal blog: while such musing and sharing in our grandparents era was kept to a personal journal or limited to a family photo album, the current approach is definitely more public but most of it is a long way from fitting the pure definition of narcissistic grandiosity and an overwhelming need for admiration. In fact the Australian characteristics of keeping things “fair dinkum” and “not blowing your own trumpet” are still part of the local approach. The tall poppy syndrome remains a powerful social norm to ensure that no one gets “too big for his boots” or is “putting on airs”. The Australian values of community mindedness and looking out for each other ensure that empathy remains strong and narcissism is kept at bay- even this great screen age.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

demographic trends panel neutral bay wedding employers statistics Love The ABC of XYZ trends of 2016 events sector wide capital cities Skilling baby boom annual income schools students work-life demographics business index australia hobart social issues cancelling plans balance rise of local housing affordability visualisation Gen Y The Daily Edition social media online shopping Australian demographics australians staying home more Geoff Brailey society trends business language brand experience pyrmont social change perth buildings poker master moreton bay online Northern Beaches Christian School Aussies demographer water paying to work Tuesday Trend sydney metro public speaker community engagement data visualisation workforce economy ashley mckenzie spend year 7 qualitative research breakfast menai 1994 intern event DIY happiness growth results insight jobs of the future bus culturally diverse case study award winner wolloomooloo food goals Australia Day travel Social Trend affordable high density apartments friends visual Wagga Wagga 2016 ageing education research eliane tv communication personalities new office investing debate census results organisations financial future professional conference speaker crime holiday Generation X Sydney sydneycity DESTEL Myth professional development university entrepreneur HSC high density social researcher weekly earnings staff social enquiry innovation selfie social research offenders leader infographic public speaking housing define global financial crisis grave decision Australians alpha transport mover and shaker baby name predictions hello fresh mccrindle school youth research services socialites omnibus lalor park students divorce office 24 million charity product house price rise politics presentation travelling holidays thrive authenticity investment 2015 parenting social impact etiquette Queensland government cooking Valentine’s Day logan sustainable TDE Netflix ABS earnings tuesday resilience engagement cancelling event 2013 google for education economic rising house prices consumer responsive teacher Charlotte rule keeper innovative wealth and income relational suburb social researchers proactive faux-cilising Real Estate Institute of Victoria going out spirituality educhat Bathburst father's day future workshop millennials young australians property price moderators guide tattoos mccrindle research christian mythbusting the changing face of thought leadership New South Wales 23 million changing face of sydney state FPA stats national crime rates mobile video shopper's pick shbc royal baby housing growth Queensland: QLD Channel Seven SMART infographic wall January 26th the average aussie summer REIV Conference Real Estate property Education Future Forum Sydney keynote speaker population milestone Andrew Duffin REIV National Conference housing market seasons Caregiver Assistant Store Manager wealth city ACF 2016 Sydney Hills Business Chamber World Water Day report sun sector generational trends priorities twentyseventeen ferry entertainment NSW the australian dream small business living suburban living baby names winter blues conferences media sports ACT hopes real future proofing 1968 rent SA volunteers research pack Australian communities generations long weekend Financial Planning Association of Australia cloudy days Adelaide future proof Aussie schools cultural diversity SMSF low density investor conference English increasing densification sydneysiders entrepreneurial McCrindle Speakers royal influence 2014 program market research friendship mateship 2012 Australian Bureau of Statistics princess charlotte career in depth interviews education future teach Australian schools James Ward staying in area internet geomapping Word Up aged care mccrindle in the media year 12 child care group Macquarie University residents learner Australian Families experience dream christianity not for profit click google WA owning a home educated safe public holiday rental stress nfp rich learn school satisfaction unaffordable demographic transformations global generations clothing gold coast darwin trends analyst Vocational education monarchy anzac Duchess of Cambridge research gen alpha change challenge survey celebration South Australia divorce rate baby name resource couple ACF work collaborative bondi social trends property market Australian Home faux-cilise demographic Tuesday Trends communities teaching Wodonga NBRS Architecture consumerism Northern beaches Event news vegemite healthy future forecast shopping IT Specialists pharmacy marrickville world media activity census townhouses vegetarian socialising medicine high school baby boomers eliane miles wellbeing 2017 kate middleton children Kirsten Brewer Generation Y Melbourne names parents ease of travel megatrends social commentator cartodb workplace Territory award leadership workshop population map gender new york times shifts states Australian Dream census fail repayments litter leadership EFF contiki tertiary education retirement financial independence Christmas lunch ipswich meetings PSI Merry Christmas hornsby life focus group renting future of work identity world youth day lifestyle Western Australia baby name trends growing population dare to dream urban taskforce university degree optus overcast optimistic System's Architect emerging trends facts Australian Census 40 million marriage tips household brisbane mythbusters focus groups debt aussie culture Channel 7 1975 winter follow house aged care puzzle story families wage "know the times" typical australian research visualisation renter of the future the hills home ownership brands GPO work mates curiosity millionth capital city careers brand stay home church middle class skills research report daily telegraph financial dreams Australian Trends VET sector education sector social lives Wellington 2016 census ashley fell ethnography local Res Vis generation alpha trends of 2017 finance quote Tasmania environment mortgage supply and demand crows nest professional speaker workplace culture in the media communications education motivate #censusfail Do It Yourself NT Hills Shire Council narcissism apartment post rationalism study generation cars royal speakers christmas victoria men average aussie data analyst keynote speaker baby names report customer graphs unemployment cost of living data future-proof social analysis NBRS trend easter teachers cash energy australian communities forum forecasting prince george financial VIC ideas 1980 Gen X Australian Communities Trends presentations TAS wealth and income distribution social shifts non profit teleworking digital personal growth community event national wealth internships recap Crime Rates keynote potts point wealth distribution sunburnt country business performance affordability collaboration acf15 women learning optus my business awards education future report future of education research data networking goal forum Christchurch earn Kiwi technology millenials 10 years interactive commuters futurist builders snapshot census 2016 Work place mccrindle tea office space communicate manly media commentary environmental scanning insights suburbs not-for-profit 2020 tableau religion storytelling learning styles norwest VET house price wages mother's day Mark McCrindle outsourcing community huffington post earning cost pharmacies sydney speaker social commentary participants rain engage car mentor domestic training trends ultimo Canberra Royals grandparents trades social life researcher toys cold emerging generations New Zealand publication social budget Engineering Manager know the times gen z organisational culture jobs commute entrepreneurs of today criminal faith Financial Planning Week urban school students australian communities trends report sydney hills global royal family NEETs baby names australia report house prices FOMO high density living home owner Births JOMO fears plans survey design waverton deloitte woolworths marriages 24,000,000 Australia Day 2017 culture weather tea train trend tuesday analysis urban living student sector wide study marketing national private wealth faux-ciliser baby Financial Planning Association young people society generation Z bureau village list Christmas presents Christmas season Deaths home local communities CBD mining boom Scouts newspaper Hornsby Shire Council sunny days family Research Executive urban living index New Zeland daily commute youth unemployment cancel plans salary fresh population growth media release dessert belief land of the middle class office opening group session relevant professional services sydney event housing trends ageing population meals Population Clock Northern Territory australian social research Australian Population financial fears dreaming coffee 2016 census results internship greatness equip February 16 conference presentation employment population emerging technologies easy rider income households blaxland slideshare Northern Beaches poor sentiments the hills shire hills shire

Archive