Narcissism In the Digital Age: Let’s Talk About How Awesome I Am

Sometimes you see a photo of a person on the internet, and they look like they’re taking it in the ass from an overweight Linkin Park fan who has MS, and you think to yourself, “What made them believe that was good enough to post online?”

We live in an age that promotes narcissism, and are by far the most self-absorbed generation in the world’s history. Before the 2000’s, photo shoots were reserved for the few individuals people actually cared to see, and the only time your wrist bent in the awkward position necessary to take the now obligatory self-portrait, was when you were jerking off.

When the internet contributes to every facet of your life (at least the ones that matter), is it any surprise that people feel the need to display themselves with their best tit shot forward?

Apparently it’s not just the Western world who is obsessed with how anonymous creeps view them. Facebook in India just released an app by Vaseline, that allows you to make your face lighter in your profile photos. Alternatively, you can read that as “make your face whiter…,” which just proves that America wins, again.

Many studies have been done that tell us what we already know: We do things that were once considered crazy, but are now just a normal part of being a 20 to mid-30’s something with internet access.

Oh, and apparently all of this self-promotion affects our ability to form “healthy”, long-term relationships. What I don’t think researchers understand, however, is that it’s most definitely possible to maintain a relationship of obsessive, egotistical bliss. Unsurprisingly, being surrounded by people who feel the same way about themselves as you do (about yourself, because who the fuck cares about them) makes it that much easier.

It’s not just about image on a photo-based level, either. It’s about running the same sequence of 140 characters in your head over and over again; ensuring that you come off as witty, smart, and vibrant. It’s about Googling your own name, and doing damage control. It’s about the fact that Googling is now a legitimate verb. It’s about making sure that, even though you only log onto LinkedIn once a year, it’s still good enough that if someone does haphazardly stumble upon it, they will appreciate you as a person.

But that’s the thing, how many of these people do you see and honestly say, “You know, I’d like to converse with this person, in the real world”? Not often. And if you do, the other side effect of Internet Syndrome comes out swinging: complete skepticism.

Author’s note: If Animal isn’t enough, and you’d like to completely immerse yourself in my hilarity (and who could blame you), find me on Twitter. Also, because I’m so great, you can befriend the fake Kari Ferrell pages on Facebook (but because I’m too good for it, I’m not actually on it). Oh, and also, I have a Tumblr.