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

James Ward future proofing English Sydney post rationalism millionth professional 23 million 2016 happiness social issues cold baby name Adelaide brisbane personalities customer mythbusting unaffordable goal forecast victoria optimistic interactive church Financial Planning Association of Australia outsourcing shbc state SA lalor park Aussies Macquarie University volunteers relational workplace culture Assistant Store Manager 2014 bondi entrepreneur HSC Northern Beaches Christian School workshop quote demographic transformations demographic marriages teaching builders social trends waverton real Real Estate property market average Australian commute technology millenials greatness Kirsten Brewer NT water moreton bay innovation google for education Geoff Brailey mccrindle in the media housing growth cost land of the middle class graphs change woolworths wealth and income distribution media release hobart schools students cica social analysis forecasting investor PSI household stats average sydneysider stay home wedding tableau newspaper father's day 1975 social shifts internships SMSF World Water Day commuters communication buildings weather clothing Generation Y city analysis mentor office opening cultural diveristy 1968 teachers wealth and income faith ideas earnings SRE domestic national wealth Kiwi spend communications research pack Gen X housing trends cooking 2012 future of work futurist marketing in depth interviews wellbeing Aussie women future proof Australian Census media commentary unemployment house price grave decision the average aussie brand experience Myth define Territory mythbusters conferences collaboration event urban young people qualitative research affordable ethnography statistics changing face of sydney DIY local #censusfail the great screenage panel leader sydney hills employment holidays meetings bureau dare to dream baby demography sector wide study presentation census results aged care puzzle student moderators guide faux-cilise financial leadership workshop royal family Australians eliane Australia Day Royals households social media teleworking deloitte baby names high density apartments researcher year 7 2017 not-for-profit apartments hornsby government presentations Channel Seven names research data cancel plans resource social researchers sydneysiders ultimo offenders Gen Y February 16 sunburnt country sector wide report religion census data optus entrepreneurial alpha school environment Netflix NBRS Architecture trends gen alpha social commentary education sector Social Trend christmas sentiments Deaths showreel infographics personal growth intern entertainment Christmas season ACT networking REIV National Conference poker master trend norwest Wodonga language mining boom cash engage marrickville focus group population growth goals New Zeland financial fears vegemite child care 2020 cancelling plans global generations national private wealth investment Wagga Wagga story selfie participants career New Zealand Australia Day 2017 social lives celebration baby names australia report dessert high density living crows nest sustainable baby name trends baby boomers keynote speaker toys Charlotte easy rider royal baby infographic marriage generation Z belief contiki internship huffington post brands trends analyst suburb Western Australia social research report Tuesday Trend socialising new office skills recap office learning styles low density local communities royal 40 million Financial Planning Week Education Future Forum award crime earn socialites learner census 2016 SMART christianity Caregiver GPO cancelling event media jobs families Generation X medicine world 24 million research workplace Do It Yourself infographic wall tips Res Vis Duchess of Cambridge mortgage financial future home ownership village Australian Population lifestyle earning friends urban living identity faux-ciliser geomapping future salary middle class Christchurch car australian communities trends report data analyst 2015 easter menai New South Wales census fail collaborative Northern Territory weekly earnings twentyseventeen online shopping events Skilling screenage children housing JOMO engagement Merry Christmas mother's day income society NEETs VIC EFF school satisfaction rent pharmacy learn Australian communities shopping centre urban taskforce ACF 2016 follow house prices non profit tv business index education future report travel kate middleton population speakers pack nfp digital millennials brand staying in youth unemployment mateship environmental scanning DESTEL mobile Vocational education states living future of shopping research visualisation leadership FPA australian communities forum world youth day divorce rate office space owning a home narcissism house price rise wolloomooloo Wellington shopping vegetarian couple public speaker prince george business VET sector online social change wealth Crime Rates Financial Planning Association wage ashley mckenzie breakfast challenge shifts Sydney Hills Business Chamber sunny days case study safe sydneycity education research financial dreams market research Australian Families The Daily Edition study know the times click trend tuesday program paying to work new york times thrive NSW home owner VET Australian Trends Tuesday Trends micro professional services public speaking Channel 7 economy rule keeper education gen z high school micro apartments housing affordability perth property megatrends 2016 census parents Australia street public holiday repayments charity home responsive list Research Executive students logan keynote community 2013 acf15 investing ACF omnibus professional speaker growing population Mark McCrindle emerging technologies January 26th Real Estate Institute of Victoria retirement The ABC of XYZ supply and demand survey social life area criminal Canberra trades Work place 2016 census results cloudy days Northern Beaches debt survey design google community event Australian schools speakers resilience Scouts sports 24,000,000 Melbourne future-proof daily commute finance careers FOMO australian rich seasons university learning holiday community engagement Valentine’s Day shopper's pick young australians training future of education food family christian sun Love aussie culture apartment rise of local TED proactive transport darwin wealth distribution hills 1980 ageing population suburban living sydney event IT Specialists the hills shire grandparents conference professional development authenticity CPI dream ageing chairty data visualisation fears REIV Conference house healthy future neutral bay purpose Australian Communities Trends social commentator winter blues TEDx communities divorce ferry ACF17 visual impact energy snapshot summer housing market social researcher Andrew Duffin business performance global financial crisis work mates school students McCrindle Speakers parenting mccrindle national crime rates hello fresh Births culture news ease of travel Queensland: QLD curiosity fresh experience education future renter of the future South Australia politics annual income manly renting urban living index princess charlotte hills shire generation alpha baby name predictions economic Christmas presents internet results census TED talk facts affordability cost of living equip pharmacies Word Up australians staying home more sydneysider culturally diverse forum trends of 2016 generational trends tattoos consumerism sydney metro professional presenters research services "know the times" conference presentation Hills Shire Council travelling tea blaxland insight cars storytelling small business capital city tuesday debate the hills sector australia data publication sydney speaker capital cities etiquette optus my business awards trends of 2017 men rising house prices slideshare innovative cultural diversity balance global population milestone organisations generation Australian Home Queensland employers Australian Dream conference speaker CBD jobs of the future royal influence teach thought leadership entrepreneurs of today suburbs mccrindle research property price tertiary education going out high density long weekend group Bathburst faux-cilising priorities gender typical australian consumer communicate life Sydney keynote speaker Engineering Manager visualisation eliane miles WA winter Population Clock emerging generations pyrmont baby names report demographics speaker growth potts point focus groups spirituality workforce educhat NBRS Research Director hopes mccrindle tea not for profit TAS rain ACF2017 dreaming Christmas lunch TDE relevant social research gold coast insights award winner group session average aussie australian social research townhouses society trends the australian dream budget Hornsby Shire Council daily telegraph Australian demographics educated organisational culture coffee media activity demographic trends in the media plans social impact Northern beaches Event baby boom ashley fell Tasmania increasing densification population map ABS teacher rental stress local community train financial independence residents cartodb work-life bus product 10 years friendship youth wages demographer monarchy social enquiry generations schools university degree Australian Bureau of Statistics the changing face of emerging trends motivate staff mover and shaker ipswich System's Architect work year 12 meals litter poor overcast aged care 1994 anzac video

Archive