There have been endless research studies at this point on the type of person that indulges in social media. Who posts pictures of themselves everyday and does it actually mean they’re a narcissist or is it possible that they’re solely utilizing it for marketing purposes? Nearly everyone that is running their own business at this point has jumped on that train, using the free networking and marketing services. Is it possible to live in the social media world daily and still maintain healthy friendships and true communication? Is there a specific type of person that gets sucked into it?
The first that’s been talked about in detail is the addictive quality of social media; it’s an addicts dream. Even if you didn’t indulge in any addictions prior, which is unlikely, it fuels your need for it. When you receive a like or comment on a post it provides the same hit of dopamine that you would get from other addictions such as a drink. In essence, it can become someone’s addiction. There are no necessary authentic interactions that are occurring or even conversations. Sometimes the people that are interacting with you you’ve never even met. Yet they glean some satisfaction from a 5 second fleeting connection. Addiction as defined refers to any type of compulsive behavior that leads to negative effects. In most addictions, people feel compelled to partake in certain activities so often that they become a harmful habit, which then interferes with other activities. Yet, it’s hard to tell when fondness for an activity becomes a dependency and crosses the line into a damaging habit addiction. It’s been shown that self disclosure communication stimulates the brain much like sex and food do.
Which leads us right into the other personality type, not independent of the first; the narcissist. Narcissism is a mental illness which seems to be on the rise with the onset of social media. Narcissism as defined is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. This sounds simple and benign enough and it exotically originated from Greek mythology. Yet, being around a narcissist is far less fun. They are not typically born that way but reared in a home either by a narcissist and/or and abusive one. They end up broken and this brokenness leads them to an obsession with their own gratification with a sociopathic quality where they literally feel nothing for them self or anyone else. They can pretend to feel for others only as part of their manipulation. It’s a narcissists wet dream, dozens even hundreds of thousands of people feeding you attention without the chance to really know who you are. For a manipulative narcissist they can spin the post or photo however they want and get the attention they need. And if you dare to go against a narcissist they’ll do what they always do, cut you out of their life and find it elsewhere. Which is incredibly easy to do on social media, delete and block. There have been arguments that state there is an entire generation of narcissists that have been incubated in social media, bred to become narcissists.
The millennial, those poor millennials. They’ve taken a lot of hits for being born in the time they have been. The older generations are frustrated with them in much the same way the generations prior were frustrated; everything is different. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Millennials are extremely self serving and disconnected, they’re also incredibly smart and resourceful. They’ve gotten a really bad rap and nothing is black or white. However, they are born and raised in the high time of social media and they are the most indulgent. It’s not new or wrong to them because they know no different. It has been said that much of the millennial generation are narcissists because of how they’ve grown up. You can take a look at a lot of them and see a thread of loneliness. They tend to go home and begin texting their friends because they don’t know what to do alone yet don’t know how to go out and really connect with people. Therefore, they end up knowing a lot of people but not having any true friends and wondering why they feel alone. They don’t know how to sit, have a conversation, or generate a true friendship. This runs across the board between race, gender, and class or socioeconomic groups.
The braggart quality of social media and the inability to determine the fine line between marketing and needing attention has been linked to a lower socioeconomic class. There is a great deal of room to be able to lie about who you are, what you look like, and what the quality of your life is. Quite possibly this appeals to people who feel smaller than they are because of their position that life has given them and this is their chance to feel more important. Also, for the higher socioeconomic group there is the possibility that they might not have as much free time to indulge. Or that there is a deeper understanding and connection to whom they really are therefore the mirror of someone else’s compliments don’t hold as much weight. In other words, they don’t need to brag because they know who they are.
With social media still providing free advertising to many businesses around the world it’s not going away any time soon. It can be a slippery slope for anyone prone to addictions or already feeling isolated. Use it wisely then turn it off and hug your friends and family.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla
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