Welcome to Facebook, the place where relationships are perfect, liars believe their own bullshit & the world shows off they are living a great life. Where your enemies are the ones that visit your profile most. Your friends & family block you, and even though you write what you are really thinking, there is always someone that takes it the wrong way.
This is nothing new. Humans have been doing this in society throughout the ages. The 1990s British sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances” comes to mind, also, scroll down the following page and see the references in classic literature: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/keep+up+appearances
People have been in love with themselves and have been “showing off” throughout history. The idiom “keep up appearances” would not have come about then. So why the sudden obsession with narcissism?
It is because social media has made it more visible to everyone. And because of the visibility, it results in what is referred to as “emotional contagion”, transferring the same emotion felt by a person or group to other people. Speaking of emotional contagion, Facebook had undertaken a controversial study where they tweaked what was shown in users’ newsfeeds and then observed the users’ posts to observe the emotional contagion effect. Get it here, http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full, fascinating (for me at least).
The study is being referred to as social media, particularly of the electronic kind, has led to the easy access of images, words, and videos that can serve to make one feel that “something is missing” and then adopt consumerism in an attempt to fill in that “missing” gap. What happens when one is unable to fill in the gap following the consumerist method? The inevitable depression, which in its simplest form, is “low self-esteem”. [Thoughts of not being able to have the same things in life as the others then concluding that one is, in some way, unworthy.]
Here is just one of the hundreds of articles on Facebook causing depression, which is based off a report of an actual study.
The only difference between real-life and social media is the frequency and intensity of the emotions that one is put through. In social media, the frequency is high but of a very low intensity, in real-life, the frequency is low but of a high intensity (generally). Your life can be arranged to have
- high intensity of high frequency emotions (fast life, not very good I suspect)
- low intensity of low frequency emotions (living slow, too boring I suspect)
- high intensity of low frequency emotions (this sounds like a “normal” life)
- low intensity of high frequency emotions (sounds perfect for the anti-social creature)
Life is composed of the 4. We need to work on reducing the 1st one though, by making social media subservient to real-life and not the other way round.