What is the definition of narcissism? According to Google, it’s “excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.” I’m not sure how it all started but it escalated with such a massive speed that nobody can keep up with it or even control it. Maybe Facebook started it. In the first few years I had Facebook; I remember a lot more pictures being posted of our families and big things we did. Like, “this is my daughter’s graduation” or “This is our family vacation photos”. Lately, Facebook has become a place you can share what you ate for breakfast this morning and have an entire album titled “Me” filled with selfies (self-taken pictures) of mainly your face in various different angles.
It really shocked me into realising that something is wrong when I saw my younger cousin, who is 14, taking pictures of herself all day and sending them to her friends via Snapchat (with added captions about what she’s doing). She is often found sitting in her room staring at herself in the mirror, and when she passes any reflective surface (like a window or a freaking water puddle) she will check her hair. I saw some of the pictures her friends sent her in return. They’re all pouting, smiling, pulling weird faces and basically saying “please just look at me”. It’s not just my cousin and her friends; it’s all of them these days. Older people in their 20s and 30s have also become increasingly obsessed with themselves. If you take more than five selfies every day and you change your profile pictures once a week or more then there’s a good chance I’m talking about you, too.
All of this might have something to do with insecurities people have about themselves that causes low self-esteem. If you want to feel good about yourself, what better way to do it than posting a picture of yourself online and getting a bunch of likes and compliments about how pretty you are? That’ll boost anyone’s confidence.
All this is worrying me that young people like my cousin are feeling an intense pressure to look absolutely perfect all the time. I know that being obsessed with how you look can lead to terrible things like eating disorders or depression. Comparing your looks to those of others can have the same bad effects.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have been feeding the narcissistic desires people have, especially with hashtags that can be added to justify the selfies like #nomakeup… Right, everyone can see you’re actually wearing makeup, darling. Maybe they’re not feeding the narcissistic tendencies, maybe they’re creating them?
In any case, I am not a fan of what’s been going on and I hope that whatever it is, it has reached its peak.