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

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

Archive