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Are people really more narcissistic than ever before? If so, are social networks and other new media to blame?

I keep hearing that narcissism is at an all time high. The Millennial generation is now being dubbed Generation ME and walking down the street you can count the number of people you see pointing phones at their faces for "selfies." But is this generation really more narcissistic than previous generations or are social networks and other new media simply a platform for broadcasting narcissistic tendencies that otherwise may have gone unnoticed?

By their nature of relying on user-generated content Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, encourage an endless stream of self promotion. At what point does this become psychologically destructive? People can get caught up in cultivating their own image rather than interacting with others. My worry is that we will be faced with a generation where everyone acts like the star of their own reality show. Do you think this is where we are headed?

Interesting Reading: http://www.psychalive.org/2012/10/is-social-media-to-blame-for-the-rise-in-narcissism/

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  • Jun 13 2013: I agree that social medias are tools for us to socialize and interact with others,however not many users sees it as such. Social medias such as fb, twitters, instagrams etc, etc allow people to accumulate "followers", and many are friends and acquaintances that we care about. Additionally, when someone is really popular, he gets a lot of strangers following him, which can be an ego boost. Hence, the social media might habituate an ego-centric mindset. In short, i agree that social media might make users more narcissistic, because it gives everyone the illusion of self-importance, grandiose, and need for admirations.

    I believe that the users might be losing out in heart to heart interactions, if the fear of losing that self-image kicks in.
    • Jun 13 2013: I like your point about how social media "gives everyone the illusion of self-importance." I think this can contribute to more individuals moving in a self-centered direction.

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