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

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

Archive