How many likes did your last Facebook status receive? How many re-tweets on your last tweet, or upvotes on your last post? If you’re like me and have been keeping track of all of those numbers, waiting and watching them rise or decline, then you are proof of the narcissism that the Internet and social networking breed.
Social narcissists are a new brand of human beings that demand to be heard. After reading something they state their opinion in forums or comment boxes. They don’t write for their own benefit, they write so others will listen. Our increasingly connected world has allowed this to happen. The Internet has become a sharer’s paradise. You don’t need to be an accomplished writer, actor or singer to get your voice heard. With a few clicks of your mouse or ticks of your smartphone, your thoughts can be known. Just check out Youtube, one of the top video sharing websites of today. A quick search can return millions of videos on related topics featuring people, just like you and me, who want to be noticed. Many of them, of course, will not be recognized by the large audiences they long for but they will still continue to post in the hopes that it will someday happen for them. The same goes for blog posts and tweets. There is a very low chance that anybody will see them, yet we still waste our time and energy typing them up or videotaping them for the web. The slim chance that a large audience will actually care about what we want to say is far too great to pass up.
What the social narcissists of today don’t realize is that there are people who are willing to listen to what they have to say: their friends and family. We need to stop worrying about how millions of strangers view us and start paying attention to the people who really matter.