Can excessive selfies lead to narcissism?
With the rise of social media, there is an increasing love for posting selfies. Selfies have become a pattern of social behavior especially among the millennials. Millennials in general are quite self-absorbed and this obsession of the ‘me’ generation turns up with greater force on social media in the form of selfies. A recent study shows that there is a 25% increase in narcissism with excessive use of social media with a great link to posting selfies.
What is narcissism?
Narcissism could be defined as a tendency to believe oneself to be superior to others, relentlessly pursue admiration from others, lack empathy and indulge in egoistic thinking and behavior. It creates a preoccupation with oneself and the perception of others. Narcissists also exhibit grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement and exploiting others. The inflated sense of self will lead to an inability to take criticism, getting angry quickly, feeling that one is above rules and refusal to accept responsibility when one does something wrong.
Researchers from Swansea University and Milan University spent a four-month period studying personality changes of 74 individuals aged 18 to 34 during that time. In this study group, Facebook was used by 60%, 25% used Instagram, and 13% used Twitter and Snapchat each. Over two thirds of this study group used social media primarily for posting images.
The study reveals that using visual social media can enhance the perception of narcissistic individuals that they are the main focus of attention. Besides, social media allows them the luxury of having no 'direct' social censure. This allows them to present a grandiose image of themselves and realize their fantasies. However, an increase in narcissism was not seen in those who went in for text-based posts.
Selfies are fine in small doses but when they become an obsession over-riding other important activities and responsibilities in life, it’s time to wake up.