From the words in the bible to the works of Salvador Dali, Narcissism has been a blight on individuals and society since the dawn of man. Narcissism is a mental disorder often caused by lack of attention when young, or a belief that the individual is more important then they actually are.
Musicians, actors and artists are the most likely cases and often choose that path because of the potential attention it brings them. It is considered a love of oneself; a desire to be seen as beautiful, interesting or important, but in truth is borne of insecurity and low self-esteem.
The modern age has created a new breed of narcissist, those who constantly sell themselves online through sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and a new study has made it quite clear who is leaning towards this social phenomenon.
They’re actually pretty easy to spot; they’ll be the ones telling you about every minute detail of their lives on a constant basis, from that ‘terrible hangover’ to ‘is soooooooo excited today’ right along to ‘met [insert celebrity name here]’ or pictures of the ever-changing hairdo. They want you to know all about themselves; they seek your approval and by being seen as someone garnering constant attention they somehow validate their existence.
Facebook has become the perfect breeding ground for narcissists; it’s the ideal medium for the lost and lonely to have a voice or a friend. And once they have a friend they never let go of the opportunity to bombard them with useless and trite information.
In a world that has become a well of information-overload do we really need to know who is in a relationship with whom? Apparently the narcissists think so.
The study was conducted by psychology professor Meghan M. Saculla of Flagler College and Western Kentucky University psychology professor W. Pitt Derryberry, with around 300 students as test subjects.
They found that subjects who used Facebook and MySpace as pure self-promotional tools in a bid to become more popular displayed narcissistic tendencies but also admitted the fact which excluded denial.
[adsense]The research, which was analyzed by Ars Technica, found that males actually led the way in that behavioural manner even though females were more likely to have more ‘friends’.
Another factor which may have contributed is demographics, with the study group containing disproportionately more females than males and groups coming from low income or non-city backgrounds.
Narcissism is treated as a personality disorder, especially when utter self absorption creates a magnified sense of self-worth and constant need for praise. However, the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, (the definitive mental health document) will be omitting narcissism which will undoubtedly lead to a flurry of Facebook activity with people seeking validation and reassurance all over again.
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