Is Facebook Making Us Insecure Narcissists?

September 23, 2014

Is Facebook Making Us Insecure Narcissists?

Photo Credit: i.huffpost.com

Facebook doesn’t have to make you an insecure narcissist...

and it might even make you better.

Facebook may be the most reviled company that enjoys nearly 100% market share.

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There’s no shortage of noise in the blogosphere about the myriad of ways our constant connectedness is ruining our lives:

• more stressed,
• more vain,
• more superficial,
• more sedentary,
• more lonely,
• more jealous, and
• less able to live in the moment,

...so the arguments go.

And these concerns are not without merit.

But I can’t help but feel the other side of the story is missing in these narratives.

I live in St. Louis – about 30 miles from Ferguson, Missouri, recently the center of national attention following the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer.

I see firsthand how social media has become the platform for community involvement and support, as well as political voice.

One of my friends, a Ferguson resident, wrote an emotional narrative about her experience with race relations in her community.

Another friend suggested that our monthly Girls Night Out be held at a Ferguson venue to support the local businesses.

Social media arguably enlarges our definition of community.

No longer is my involvement limited to the people I see every day. I feel more part of my city, my country, and my world.

What are ways social media makes me more healthy and happy?

1. It Makes Me More Fit.

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• Last week I joined a running group started by a woman in my network.

• One of my friends started a group for our friends to help us track and stay accountable for our fitness goals - the punishment for failure is posting an embarrassing video of yourself singing to your whole network.

• I frequently see my friends posting on Map My Run or posting their successes completing athletic events, which in turn inspires me.

• I'm part of a recipe share group for mothers that recently posted some healthy winners like quinoa skillet burritos and green smoothies.

2. It Makes Me More Generous.

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As discussed earlier, I'm more aware of all of the communities in which I exist and feel more sense of ownership in giving back to them.

How many of you thought about ALS more in the last month than in your entire life - and backed those thoughts with actions?

It Lowers My Stress.

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Facebook has been a forum for both emotional and tactical support in my life.

I am part of:

• a breastfeeding support group,
• a money-saving-tips group, and
• a mother support group.

Even the cheesy inspirational quotes that get circulated are sometimes exactly what I needed to hear that day.

Like anything else, the key is moderation.

What do you think?

Net-net, is social media more a positive or negative in your life?




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