Technology & Narcissism
February 27, 2007Think about it...MySpace and YouTube. Not "OurSpace" and "WeTube". Me, me, me.
A study that has been regularly conducted by San Diego State University has found that in 2006, college students are more narcissistic and self-involved than every before...two-thirds of them think they're wonderful and the world ought to revolve around them.
While the study shows media such as MySpace and YouTube to be a symptom, not a cause, of the problem, it is indicative that somewhere along the way, the "Free To Be You and Me" movement of the 60s and 70s that was meant to build self-esteem in children has over time morphed into an alarming overdose in self-esteem and a rise in a "F*ck You, I'm Special And You're Not" generation.
But think about the technologies...iPods mean we can pick the music we want to listen to and never have to be exposed to anything we don't...in the way listening to the radio or sharing a family stereo meant you had to put up with other people's musical choices for part of the time. The vast array of Internet news (and increasingly polarized network news) means we can listen to current affairs information skewed in the political direction of our choice without ever having to be bothered by views from the other side or uncomfortable realities we don't like. Web chat means we can communicate anonymously, never having to look at another person's expression if we say something hurtful. Internet message boards mean we can insult other's opinions without the uncomfortable social necessity of face-to-face interaction and social sensitivity, both of which rouse empathy. Wikipedia means we can reinforce our opinions with, let's face it...pseudo-research that was put onto the site by who-knows-who with who-knows-what credibility. Blogs mean we can post our hopes, desires and dreams on the Internet daily and pretend there are a lot of people out there who care (frankly, there aren't).
I suspect the phenomenon isn't limited to young people. I can see it in young, middle aged and older people nowadays...just observing the way they drive.
I won't pretend I have an answer to the issue. But it's worrying just the same.
Related Tags: people, think, internet, means, Internet
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