narcissism

Why do so many people feel compelled to do a 101 meaningless Facebook quizzes? I’m not snubbing them or anything, I’m asking a genuine question. What superhero do you resemble most? What is your true personality type? How well do you know _____? It’s like .. wanting to be labelled, or categorized. I guess the thing about Facebook is that it can be turned into a place where you can tell/show people things about yourself without sounding boastful, because it lets you have the mentality “If you choose to read my wall posts or my statuses or my quiz results, it’s you encroaching into my territory and not me rambling endlessly about myself”. Which is clever, and is also what I would argue one of the main reasons why Facebook is used so obsessively: it’s narcissism made natural. You post everything on Facebook with the awareness that your hundreds of friends will have access to it and may react to it, but your hundreds of friends don’t necessarily think you bothered to think about the fact that you knew they would be able to see what you’d written. So you are constantly crafting the impression people have of you, consciously manipulating the material upon which people are likely to judge you, while the people think they are making perceptive and wise assessments of you as a person from observation. Facebook, as its name suggests, is all about image.

If you think I’m taking this too far, good for you: either it means that you belong to a group of Facebookers I admire for not having slipped into the trap of image-manipulation, or it means that it is such a normal part of your life that it is deep within your subconscious, making you totally oblivious to the fact that it is something you do everyday.

How, then, is blogging any better? I think it’s honest. There isn’t that pretention that I find with Facebook; none of that sneaky, fake “oh whoops i didn’t know people actually read my wall, haha…” while thinking “yessss. i wrote such nice stuff on other people’s walls, now the whole world knows what a nice person i am”. And because of that, it takes more responsibility, somehow. Haha maybe I’m rationalizing here, I don’t know. Anyway, off to my mountain of work 😦

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