October 4 , 2016 / 4 minutes, 46 seconds

INSTAHO

Author: Annette K. Scott

INSTAHO 1

 

“Instaho” a term commonly referring to people who do anything to grab attention on social media via posting pictures of themselves that aren’t equating to real life.  There has been a trend with the wave of social media to post a life that isn’t yours.  What does this have to do with who we are, what we are, how we are, what we look like, what we do?   

The most up to date Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines narcissistic personality disorder (npd) as including these features: having an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.  An excessive need for admiration and a lack of understanding of others feelings. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them.  The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of situations.   

Since the inception and growth of social media there have been numerous studies on what type of personality indulges in them and npd has been studied immensely.  Most studies agree that any psychological disorder isn’t caused by social media and also show that over the past 10 years npd has risen dramatically in the U.S.  There has to be the seed already planted and with the correct or incorrect environment it will grow.  Causes of npd are fairly unknown but experts tend to apply a biopsychosocial model of causation.  In other words, a combination of environmental, social, genetic, and neurobiological factors plays a key role.  Behaviors such as attempting to attract more followers, wanting to tell followers about your life, and the need to project a positive image at all times have been described by researchers as examples of exhibiting narcissistic personality traits on social media.

On the flip side of this are studies saying that social media is positive for our self-esteem.  Saying that it allows people to test different identities and find a comfortable place in society.  The line between using social media as a tool for marketing and npd is an incredibly thin finite line.  One that is easy to get sucked into and cross over with a pre-existing condition.  Promoting highlights of our lives, the fun moments such as parties and vacations is denying the human experience.  These posts rarely reflect when others are sad, depressed, or lonely; human conditions.  We are trying to sanitize the messiness of the human experience.  Modern life is hard.  If we deny our own messiness, we can’t really connect with other people and their own messiness.  And that is really lonely and isolating; we’ve broken ourselves into bite-sized chunks.  If we believe that’s who we are, it becomes impossible to tolerate the complexity of ourselves and other people. 

Yet, the social media rage seems to thrive and grow as we speak.  We can’t control what happens around us but we can strive to set forth a precedent for ourselves as to how we as a society move forward.  With continued self-reflection and accountability, we can all change the tides of how the world turns.

Disclaimer to the entire piece-I write this while checking facebook and taking selfies for shameless self promotion.

Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla

Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd Suite C, Tampa, FL 33629

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