Is Facebook and twitter making our youth narcissistic?

As I sat here at lunch, CNN just asked (and I mean 5 minutes ago), are our youth becoming narcissistic with the usage of Facebook and Twitter?  First, let’s define what a person with that disorder might be before giving my opinion:

Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviors become persistent and very disabling or distressing

So the youth in question must self-promote and inflate themselves as have no empathy to others?  Sounds like every bulletin board, social site and a lot of blogs to me.

The idea of Facebook is sharing minutia about your day and life as well as communicating that to a broad audience.  Twitter takes that to another level with short bursts of messages, instead of longer details on walls and postings in Facebook.

I don’t think these sites have any influence on growing this in our youth, just exposing it to a wider audience at a faster rate.  There are many of our youth calling for help across the networks, and many friends that spend time online trying to help them.  Is it the removal of the face to face interaction that brings this to our attention?  Where the parents and public can read in near real-time the interaction between teens.  Where before, the conversations were private or on the phone in the closet in their room?

You tell me, do you think the youth or the same, more or less than previous?

  • David Stephens

    I think it is something to consider. I watched this video earlier this week and highly recommend it and the other work from MWesch (The Machine is using us).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09gR6VPVrpw

    I'm assuming this post is relating not only to the CNN story, but also the story on USA Today which also linked to the a test on narcissism. Based on the feedback on those stories, I tend to think that it is an issue. Just my 2 cents.