The 21st Century Narcissist

The last couple of weeks have been pretty mental on the old social media: Kony 2012, YouTube clips of Obama, that viral of a baby inside a watermelon… I, for one, have not been able to peel my eyes away from the screen, just waiting for another celebrity to masturbate in public so I can rant about how I knew all charitable people are actually Fitzperverts in disguise. And so, yes, it’s that time of month again: the time that I start to worry about how our lives are being taken over by a blue and white monster, whose beautifully rounded font has the ability to transcribe every time we’ve chundered, every sin we’ve ever committed, into an elegantly decorated scrapbook, without the fuss of paper and scissors. That’s right: Facebook.

I was casually perusing model CVs on the internet earlier this week and I noticed that a girl had listed ‘Facebook’ under ‘Hobbies and Interests’, and, I can’t deny, it made my heart lurch a bit. Is that really a past time? Is that legit? Studies would prove that actually a lot of people worry too. According to Psychologies Magazine, there is a condition called ‘E-Personalities’, in which we create a false online personality: supposedly, we devise an alter-ego on Facebook, a cooler, more eccentric, bolder version of ourselves, that, in reality, we can’t live up with. Hence our real personality pales next to our Facebook one. I, for one, am a lot paler in real life than on Facebook (but that’s largely due to fake tan and staying inside pressing refresh), but I’m glad to say that I’m hilarious in real life too.

People hide behind social media: it’s the shield to their sword, the Selena Gomez to their Justin Bieber. I read another article in the Guardian (I’m fancy, ya know) that stated there was a proven correlation between your number of Facebook friends and your tendency towards Narcisstic Personality Behaviour. In short, this means the more likely you are towards things like: self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies. I can’t say I didn’t feel this when Bath Rugby Club, topless covered in blue paint, accosted my grandmother on Saturday afternoon, picking her up and taking photos with her as part of some Facebook joke. Furthermore, apparently, the more Facebook friends you have, the more likely people will ‘say shocking things and inappropriately self-disclose because they cannot stand to be ignored or waste a chance of self-promotion’. True dat. My favourite part of that article was the ‘social media expert’ who claimed he’d heard of people who had ‘almost a thousand friends on Facebook’. Get out of town. So basically, if you already have the tendency to spend a bit longer than normal doing your hair in the morning, or the majority of your photos have a hidden elbow in them from where you have tried to disguise the fact you are taken a photo of yourself, before social media, you are royally fucked now.

I, for one, don’t think our generation have too much to be worried about. We are already seriously vain, overly curious and self-involved, as well as being acutely aware of how much our online activity is watched by others. There was a lot of adjectives in that sentence. They say kids aren’t good at maths anymore, but that’s probably because the only thing we need to count is likes on statuses. No, it’s not this generation I worry about. It’s people like my poor mum who, after a day of being on Facebook, somehow managed to hack into mine and send all her private messages to old friends as my statuses. Those are the people I really fret over. It’s the old timers who have no idea quite how much the boundaries between public and private lives have blurred with the i-want-an-IPhone-and-frappacino-right-here-right-now generation. So, a word of warning: if we’re all going to hell for being vein, let’s try not drag the elders down with us. We’ll send them a postcard. Or maybe I’ll @ mention you from hell, mumma.

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