LetMeTakeASelfie: a Narcissistic Epidemic
There are several definitions of narcissism. It can be claimed as an extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. Another definitions for it is a self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder. The final definition for it is an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Taking and posting selfies on social media is a form of narcissism. People post selfies to receive admiration from others.
Technology gives people the control to shape and manipulate who we are and perhaps mask one’s flaws and imagined shortcomings in a way that people could not do offline (Wahid, 33). Posting selfies is an opportunity for people to showcase themselves to the world with little or no repercussions. When the “likes” and affirming responses to one’s selfies come in large numbers in a given week, the satisfaction of that kind of validation is immeasurable.
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The seductive ego boost is hard to pass up and becomes addictive like a drug. It also sadly becomes the kind of negative reinforcement that conspires with society’s fixation with appearance, status, wealth, materialism, etc. Narcissists know they are the best and want others to think they are the best as well. Rapper Kanye West has exposed his narcissistic qualities on several occasions. He embarrassed Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs when he went on stage while she was accepting her award for “Best Female Video” claiming that Beyoncé had the best video of all time.
Doing so publicly humiliated Swift and made him the center of attention. He’s also stated publicly that he’s up for running for the US Presidency in the 2020 elections. He truly believe he is above everyone else. So much so that he went to the extent of replacing Jesus on the cross with himself for the cover of his album, Yeezus. Surprisingly, narcissists tend to be hyper aware of what others think, even though this disorder can make one come across as standoffish, disconnected, and unconcerned about others’ opinions.
However, because a person with this disorder often lacks the ability to perceive his innate worth, he will seek to earn it through the approval of others, thus causing him to crave constant attention from those around him. Narcissists believe they are more important than others like those who take a lot of selfies. Psy Post reports that the study, which was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that those people who like taking selfies truly believe that the pictures they take make them appear more attractive to others.
In fact, when asked how independent raters might rate them, those people who took selfies on a consistent basis were very confident that they’d be perceived as awesome (Shrayber). Both groups, the consistent selfie-takers and non-selfie-takers, showed self-favoring bias by thinking that they would be seen as more attractive and more likeable in their photos than they were actually seen by the independent raters.
However, the selfie-takers overestimated themselves more. In reality, both groups’ selfies were rated as less attractive than the experimenter-taken photos by the independent raters (Shrayber). They also thought the selfie-takers looked significantly more narcissistic than the non-selfie-takers on the basis of their selfies. An importance has grown to realize that being a selfie-taker can cause problems in the long run. The reason being that people may fall victim to self-favoring bias, which may lead to ego distortion.