Saturday, August 1, 2009

Social Networking and Narcissism

Social Networking and Narcissism: In today's information-driven world, no mechanism has revolutionized the process of communication more than the internet. As a global network of interconnected computers, the internet serves as a postmodern means of not only commerce, but also community. And it is the development of these cyber-communities that fundamentally alters the egos and personalities of the people who engage in them. For one thing, the explosion of social-networking websites, such as Facebook and MySpace, which critics claim are nothing more than cash cows for advertisers, has led some people to the precarious zone of situational narcissism. Psychologically speaking, this kind of narcissism is emblematic of extreme self-love, as users of a social-networking site attempt to augment their communal importance by carrying out such acts as acquiring friends, displaying photos, and updating statuses. The fact remains, however, that communal importance is a self-perceived notion. According to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, human beings are meant to rise above the petty concerns of communally-reflected glory. Social networking fills the mind with vices rather than virtues. Instead of living like a herd animal, which is what social-networking websites do to us all, we ought to disconnect and see what our true collective potentiality holds.

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