Online narcissism is like a drug addiction. As the narcissism epidemic spreads, all of us will deal with the personality defects of the self-centered and their incessant drive for attention and fame.
Never before has the individual identity been so empowered, nor has personal empowerment relied on others to this degree. Identity in the hyper-connected digital era exists in a paradox.
As we sacrifice privacy and more of our personal lives come online, the singular concept of a man or woman in control of their own manifest destiny falls.
While we share individual pieces of our lives, the image of ourselves we want people to see shifts. Our peers and family members add their own touches to the picture. Identity is no longer controlled by the individual, rather it’s painted in an impressionist or abstract fashion by their peers.
Further, identity is fractured, an overlapping jigsaw puzzle of roles. In one corner you have your work identity, in another family, and in a third, hobbies. On and on.
It’s a strange world we live in online. Delusions of grandeur call, singing like that sweet Siren in the midst of the sea. To win, we must appear like we are Doing Important Things, but in the end we find our lives dashed on the rocks.
I’m speaking about the competitive rat race to see who can get the most social media rock star badges; keynotes, books, followings, awards, blog mentions, yeah!
I have to admit, I got caught up in this hooplah again during the past year. Then I looked at my real life (the one I physically walk around in), and my toddler clinging to my pants leg crying every time I moved to the door, afraid that she wouldn’t see me again for days.
Well, when that happens it’s time to reevaluate what matters.
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