Last year, The New York Times ran a series about social media and narcissism in its “Room for Debate” column. The question was centered around whether or not social media makes people narcissistic. The title: You Like Me! You Really Like Me! Is Facebook turning us into narcissists?
I’ve been asked this exact question (and also as it relates to Instagram, MySpace and Twitter). Many of us have. In the Times article, eight individuals weighed in, from university professors, social media strategists, authors, online personalities and therapists. I found what the author of The Wizard of and Other Narcissists, Eleanor Payson, said to be helpful in understanding the relationship between narcissism and such online sites mentioned above. Here’s an excerpt:
“To be clear, if we are using the word narcissist as shorthand for narcissistic personality disorder — the answer is no, Facebook is not turning us into narcissists because narcissistic personality disorder is a true pathology that originates in deep and early childhood wounding. However, if the word narcissist refers to an inclination toward self-absorption, then the use of social media can clearly worsen this tendency in a person. In fact, social media can become the perfect drug for individuals with any narcissistic tendencies, and it will almost certainly exacerbate them.”