Narcissism in the Internet Age

Narcisism

For those of you looking for a Dictionary definition….

nar·cis·sism

narcissism pronunciation /ˈnɑrsəˌsɪzɛm/ Show Spelled[nahrsuhsiz-em]

–noun

1.

inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
2.

Psychoanalysis . erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
As a social media participant, I'm intrigued by the way Narcissism is becoming more and more the norm.  I know many of you might think, "Well, isn't that what this whole 'blog' thing is all about?"  And I wonder….
In 2004, one of my staff members introduced me to Facebook.  I was overwhelmed by the newness of the technology and I looked at him at the little coffee shop here in Durango and said, 'This is how we'll communicate in the future." 
Of course I had no idea what Facbook would become, but as I sat in this wave of generational change, something in my guy told me that Facebook like media outlets would become a part of our daily lexicon.  Why?
Well, it's easy. 
The Millennial Generation is consumed with itself. 
I don't mean that to be a knock on all my millennial friends, only a statement of fact.  Just look at how we're raising our kids, providing for their every need, and subsequently watching the teenager years extend well beyond 18 to sometimes 28 years old.  Why? Could it be the undying colledling we do to give our kids the best?  Are we cutting the rug out from under their development as we give into their every whim?  Or is it just the nature of humankind?
Why do millennial kids have such a fascination with seeing themselves on the internet, or being in the mix at every twitter event, or; some might say, blogging everyday about culture issues?
I must confess, I'm not young enough to be labeled a millennial, but I get it.  I get the reason why so many kids need to have a place on the internet.  I get the obsession to be a part of the mix and be accepted.  I understand why we feel our voice must be heard, and not only just heard; but actually listened to and acted on. 
It's built inside of us.  We were created this way.  And then the tech culture feeds the need. 
I'll explain. 
One of the basic fundamentals of being human is the need to be around others.  I've done much to explain this in past posts, but the short of the story…God created Eve in Genesis 2 so we wouldn't be alone.  He fashioned humans so we could walk through life together. 
Jesus reiterated this point when He claimed, "The First and Greatest Commandment is to Love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind, and the second is like it, To love your neighbor as yourself."  In other words, Loving God and Loving Others are the baseline needs to live a successful life as God created. 
The way I interpret those creations is that God made us to need each other.  In fact, true love is not a lustfull erotic relationship, but rather; true love is actually knowing someone at a spiritual, emotional level; AND having them know you. 
Facebook provides just that. 
You can get online and "be Known" by as many people as you think will make you happy.
You can also become what my students call a Facebook Creeper, and try and get to know as many people as you can surf their name. 
What an interesting day we live in where we actually try to facilitate God given needs of relationships through a portal that is an illusion of togetherness.  CRAZY!
So we get millions of pictures posted, hundreds of comments on what we are doing now, and thousands of friends, ONLY TO WIND UP AS LONELY AS WE WERE TO BEGIN WITH.
Which, I believe, is the plague of the internet age. 
Sure, there are wonderful ways we can communicate, share information, and do commerce.  I'm an internet FAN!  But when the essence of the human condition, primarily when considering developing real relationships, are reduced to a status quote on a facebook profile page, we're missing something. 
Ask any high school student you know that will be honest with you, and you'll find this thread of loneliness etching away at their spirit.  They walk through life with thousands of internet friends, they post pictures of themselves having fun adventures, but there's a hole they're trying to fill somehow. 
I don't believe the hole is as much a "god shaped" type of thing I heard in youth group growing up, as much as I think it's a need to know and be known. 
Narcissism in the Internet Age is real, it's a part of our culture now, and we've got to push for moments where we can relate to each other in a human way.  We love technology, but can it be a false answer for a real problem? 
What say you?

 

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s