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Narcissistic Selfies



I grew up taking photographs. My parents had rented a house in the orange and lemon groves in the north part of Claremont that had a barn, a stable and a small outbuilding that was a darkroom. Looking through a viewfinder was a bit like magic because it narrowed the view to just the essential elements. Changing the view using the aperture and focal length of the lenses further refined the experience. And the fact I took the photo proved I was there. I find the current trend of taking "selfies" a bit mystifying so did some research.


The practice of taking selfies has become so ubiquitous that it's easy to dismiss it as just another harmless social trend. But if we dig deeper, there's a compelling argument to be made that the selfie culture is indicative of narcissism and a lack of awareness of others. It's not just a claim; several psychological studies back this viewpoint. Before diving into that, it's essential to define what narcissism actually means: it's not just self-love but an inflated sense of one's own importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.


The Science Behind the Selfie

The American Psychiatric Association describes Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a mental condition characterized by a long-term pattern of exaggerated self-importance, the need for excessive attention, and a lack of empathy for others. Numerous studies have explored the relationship between narcissism and the frequency of posting selfies. For example, a 2016 study published in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences" found a direct correlation between the two.


The Social Impact

What's equally concerning is the lack of awareness this selfie culture promotes. It's not uncommon to see people taking selfies at inappropriate times, like during a concert or even at somber occasions like memorials. This not only disrupts the experience for others but also shows a lack of empathy and social awareness. You might argue that taking a selfie at a concert doesn't hurt anyone, but what about the people behind you whose view is blocked? Or the performer who is distracted by the sea of glowing screens?


Empathy, the Missing Element

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It's what connects us as human beings. When we're so focused on capturing the perfect selfie, we become disconnected from our surroundings and the people in it. We're not sharing a moment; we're stealing it to bolster our own self-image. As someone who values community and diversity, this disconnection is particularly troubling. How can we build lifelong relationships or connect diverse perspectives when we're only focused on ourselves?


The Counter-Argument

Some people argue that selfies are a form of self-expression and can boost self-esteem. While that may be true for some individuals, it doesn't negate the negative impact excessive selfie-taking can have on the person and the people around them. Confidence shouldn't come at the expense of empathy and awareness.


Solutions

Now, what can we do about it? Awareness is the first step. Acknowledge the impact your actions may have on others. Next, set boundaries for when and where it's appropriate to take selfies. Maybe avoid taking them at social gatherings or public events where it might disrupt others. And, most importantly, be present in the moment. Sometimes the best memories are the ones you can't capture.


Through awareness and moderation, we can find a balance that respects both the individual's desire for self-expression and the community's need for empathy and awareness. After all, life's most meaningful moments are often those we share with others, not the ones we broadcast to the world.

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Guest
01 มี.ค.
ได้รับ 5 เต็ม 5 ดาว

It is a perseverative act of self glorification which is not Beneficial to All Concerned nor does it Build Better Friendships.

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Guest
01 มี.ค.

“Get off my lawn!” Dinosaur!

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Guest
01 มี.ค.

So agree with you on this one! It’s so irritating to #1 watch people taking selfies all over the place, even with selfie sticks and other tools and #2 then see the faces of the individuals super imposed on pictures everywhere on Social Media. I want to tell them, “I’ve seen your face, now let’s focus on something else.”

Jutta

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Guest
01 มี.ค.
ได้รับ 5 เต็ม 5 ดาว

Highly interesting and well written from a person who has never taken a selfie.

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Guest
01 มี.ค.

Thanks, Ray, it's right on.

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