Were we always narcissistic? I don’t know. But social media has at least brought this side of us in the front. Social media may have started as a way of communication. Now it has consumed our lives. And not in a good way. It has made many of us tap into our narcissistic tendencies.
Outside, the world is going to ruins. The economy is down, the politics is corrupt, and during voting seasons, we are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. But are we worried about that? Do we ever go out and talk to people in real life to see what they think? The simple answer is no. We spend most of our time in our room. Clicking and editing selfies and earning likes has become our way of communication. If we are too bored, we just open our smartphones and play a new game.
We are always confronted by the meaningless of our lives. We are scared of that thought. Life has no meaning or purpose. But that we can make a meaning out of it escapes us. Or maybe we don’t want that responsibility. So, we choose social media to make a little meaning in our lives. We play games and become war heroes in Call of Duty. We find joy in binging on Netflix. While many claim social media connect us, it has actually broken us.
Of course, the competitive spirit of human beings hasn’t left us. It is still there – it has only transferred to the social media world. We are all competing for more likes, reposts, and shares. We want followers. Only a few remain who want social media to be a medium of just communication or occasional news.
But we know we aren’t perfect in real life? So, what do we do? We make ourselves perfect on social media. We become obsessed with ourselves and focus on how we can change who we are so that other people can like us. Social media does not reveal us – it reveals an untrue version of us which we want to become is real life but aren’t. You want validation, you want popularity. And only social media could give you that.
Like many people, you probably get really excited when someone shares your post or retweets it? That’s because of the happiness hormones. Once you get acknowledged, dopamine, which acts a bit like cocaine, surges through your brain, making you feel ecstatic. For a short time. That’s why people beg for likes with their hashtags like #follow4follow or #likeforlike. Validation for the self is what we seek. We are self-obsessed.
And it is not a secret anymore. The government knows this. They know that with the right kind of advertising, they can fan your self-obsession and make you do whatever they want. They want their sheep, and social media has offered them their sheep pen.