Can social media encourage narcissistic behavior?

“Me. Me. Me. Me. Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” It’s all about me, and what I’m doing, and where I am right now, and who I’m with, and how awesome I look?!

“Look. Look. Look. Here I am again!”

Sound familiar? Yes? Nope? As social media grows with millions upon millions users, so does the toxicity of it negatively influence online users to become very ‘me’ focused, which in turn encourages narcissistic behaviour.

Narcissistic is defined as :

Having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.

But first let me take lots of selfies

It’s no surprise that with the rise of social media and the need for young people to post about everything, as a means of getting likes, comments, followers and a flood of compliments that feed their egos, and fuels narcissistic behaviour within them. With every selfie that is posted and the boasting of their achievements online their need and desire to receive more attention grows, making the whole scenario addictive.

The root of narcissistic behaviour

According to psychology expert Lisa Firestone:

“Self-esteem differs from narcissism in that it represents an attitude built on accomplishments we’ve mastered, values we’ve adhered to, and care we’ve shown toward others. Narcissism, conversely, is often based on a fear of failure or weakness, a focus on one’s self, an unhealthy drive to be seen as the best, and a deep-seated insecurity and underlying feeling of inadequacy.

It is important to understand that narcissism stems from underlying feelings of inadequacy. Many children of the millennial generation were given form rather than substance, presents instead of presence, which leaves children feeling insecure. Empty praise causes children to feel entitled while lacking the true confidence necessary to feel good about themselves. Our society’s shift towards instant gratification appears to be having a negative effect on our kids.”

The internet did not raise me

We are living in a world, time, era, and generation that is being raised with the internet, wifi, and social media as the norm. Therefore, we need to always encourage and nurture our young people to grow up knowing and understanding their sense of value and worth. It’s important that they realise they cannot find their worth or confidence via any sort of online affirmation.

I have a few friends who get lost online. Social media makes them feel anxious or it makes them feel less than because they don’t feel “cool” enough compared to somebody else’s lifestyle and Instagram feeds. It is so bizarre that social media has that kind of power over us. Social media along with fellow online goers, who are mostly random strangers cannot tell us who we are, or what we are worth.

Our sense of worth and value comes from truly knowing and loving who we are at the very core of what makes us, us. Social media should never have the power to control us to such an unhealthy level, creating an inwardly focused way of living.

If that has become the case for you personally, then maybe it is time to give social media a break, and do something different with your time and energy. Doing something different that nurtures your heart and soul could look like writing down your thoughts, exercising more, getting outdoors, spending quality time with loved ones. Feed your soul, not your ego, be a happy healthy YOU!

At the end of the day our true worth is found in the truth that we were created by a God who loves us and who doesn’t make mistakes. No amount of Instagram likes, Facebook friends or Twitter followers can compare to knowing that God is interested in your life and cares for you.

If you would like to know more, or have questions about your value, please click on the link or leave a comment.

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear what you think.

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