Today’s article took some time to write. Not because it is difficult to talk about, but because the extent of the damage is unbelievable. I’m going to talk about social media, but not in the terms that you might expect.

It isn’t the first time I say here that I don’t have and never had Instagram, because unless you are an artist, and your work depends on it, what is the reason to have an Instagram account? What do you want? Validation? Others to see how wonderful your life is? Or maybe because it is a trend, you have it too? What is the objective of having Instagram and Facebook accounts at the same time?

In recent years we have seen a rise of what we call subclinical narcissism among young people and now even with adults because of all this exposure to social media platforms. And I say subclinical narcissism because the clinical narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder covers a very small percentage of the population. And only a psychiatrist can diagnose and identify these individuals.

Note: Be careful when you use the word narcissist to identify somebody else who does have toxic behaviors. However, subclinical narcissism is as serious as clinical narcissism and can affect your life.

It is important to understand that humans are social animals, and therefore, the need to connect with others is present since birth. To be even more specific, human babies are the most vulnerable specie of mammals and require special care to survive.

The question should be, how and why social media affect us? And what has been the contribution to the emergence of narcissistic people?

Unfortunately, most of the individuals don’t understand that social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and common dating apps. Such as Tinder or OkCupid are made to addict our brain and change the way we relate and perceive relationships. The usage of algorithms is a common way that those platforms use to manipulate your emotions and needs. The neuroscience behind social media is to make you crave more, more validation, more attention, more praise, and for that reason, in your feeds tend to appear more the posts of people who you add recently to testify your compatibility.

Pure Illusion!

Neuroscientists have compared social media interaction to a syringe of dopamine being injected straight into the system. So what should we think about it? My principal concern is children, and as you know, there is a new trend of mums influencers on Instagram that share their children’s daily lives in search of sponsorships and visibility.

Where is the right to privacy of these little beings? Where is family privacy?

In social media platforms, like in photoshop, life has an edition. And our brains are being bombarded with comparisons, which I call keeping up with Kardashians syndrome. And it is here where narcissism enters in the equation.


An easy way to detect narcissists in social media is by seeing how much time they spend on social media. But also, for example, on Instagram: Their account is public? What kind of pictures do they post? Are their selfies heavy edited? How many selfies and trip photos do they have? How many followers?

Most professional individuals from psychology and neuropsychology advice women and men before start dating someone. They should see if their prospective partners have an Instagram account and how they use it, which will not only prevent heartbreak but also avoid unnecessary drama. 

Esther Perel, one of the most recognized therapists, refers that couples and even single individuals need to do a digital detox, and the evidence is here. Social media manipulates not only your emotions, but also change the function of your prefrontal cortex, which plays a big role in willpower and decision-making.

“People who spend a lot of time “media multitasking” . or juggling lots of different websites, apps, programs or other digital stimuli – tend to have less grey matter in a part of their brain involved with thought and emotion control.” – Kepkee Loh

Kepkee Loh’s explanation gives us the reason why narcissism is on the rise and why the dating world is a mess. People with narcissistic traits are emotionally immature, lack empathy, and don’t care about how you feel. Take care of yourself and try not to expose your children to social media, or digital devices. Until their early 20’s, their brains aren’t completely formed.

One week ago, I asked David Demars to record a video about online Predatorial Narcissists. David is a certified life coach, video producer, and writer based in Las Vegas, specializing in toxic relationship recovery.
He is straight forward with his words and transparent in his videos. I hope you enjoy it!

With love,

Alexandra

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21 comentários

  1. I wonder if people are heavy social media users for other reasons than being a narcissist. Perhaps in the ‘younger’ generation it is more of a cultural norm. It would also be interesting to see if there’s a difference between extroverts and introverts, and whether some people mainly post about an interest or hobby.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think young people jump into social media far too quickly, and then act surprised when they are ridiculed for doing that.

      These young sorts have no idea what they’re in for, though they’re allowed free reign to be in this virtual world. It all comes to being responsible with what you involve in your own life. Unfortunately, young people, such as those slightly beneath my age group, will involve anything in their own lives, believing they can be totally free and rebellious.

      Young people are very easily led, easily manipulated, because they haven’t gained the character or the wisdom, yet, to understand limits.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately, not only young people are easily lead and manipulated. The more we understand how it works, the more we will protect ourselves.

        Instagram now is being used as a dating app, and girls list their Instagram profiles on dating apps to gain more followers. Even dating apps were created to erode the way our brain process relationships, using menus and relationships à la carte.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Besides narcissistic traits, as you must understand, the other reasons are related to lack of social interactions and also addictivity. Social media has the same impact as cocaine in our brains. As a society, we are losing our abilities to interact with others, to meet up in person, and therefore creating shallow relationships. Social media platforms are the mirror of who we are. We don’t want to think by our heads. We want to go with the flow. But go with flow leads us nowhere.
      Because it is a cultural norm doesn’t mean it is healthy, quite the opposite, and it proved with all this new bad digital behavior that we all hear about every day.

      The difference between introverts and extroverts and because this post is about narcissism. Introvert narcissists tend to be sneaky in their postages, posting memes with indirect messages. Post also fewer selfies or things about their lives. On the other hand, extroverts postages in social media are all about their achievements, selfies with heavy edition, photo trips, bikini photos, and the perception that everything is perfect.

      From what I have studied and seen in my life, this isn’t a cultural norm. It is an emotional disease.

      Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I certainly agree that social media tends to have a detrimental effect on young people. It often shapes their identity and their perception of the world in distorted and maladaptive ways. Also, we all benefit from taking a break from social media at times to make sure we are maintaining a healthy relationship with the real world 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There is one type of narcissism you can’t spot on social media at first look, covert narcissism (also known as vulnerable narcissists). It’s a bit off topic maybe, sorry, but I think it’s important to know that not every social media user with selfies is a narcissist too, and that some narcissists are hidden behind other pictures as well (like you’ve mentioned – memes might be a good example). There is also a difference between being an addict and posting plenty of pictures online or actually being a narcissist. There are similarities between both, but it’s not the same.

    I can relate to your concerns. Social media do encourage people to express their narcissistic traits. Which can be bad and good at the same time. I rather see a narcissist preoccupied with social media than doing damage to people offline. You can block people online easier than offline.
    This is just some theoretical thinking, in practice everything is much more complicated of course. At the end of the day you can’t influence 100% what others do, but you can 100% influence your own actions.

    Thanks for another inspiring post which move the brain cells into thinking. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Maja,

      Thank you for your commentary!

      Many things have been said and written about narcissism that is wrong. I think I will have to write a second part for this post, but the principal idea of this one was to make all of us think about what we are doing with our lives.
      It is important to define that I am not talking about NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder because only a small percentage of our population has that disease. I wrote about Subclinical Narcissism where we can englobe the grandiose and the vulnerable.

      We have to understand that the behavior that some people have on social media has become the new social norm. And like you said, we easily block people if we don’t want to talk with them, but that leads me to another question: Aren’t we creating a society of avoidants? Also, the distinction between online and offline life is another excuse that helps people to camouflage their bad behavior.

      There is no difference between being an addict or a narcissist, and you know why? Because addiction is part of the narcissist core system. They seek validation from outside. They are co-dependents, and I will give you one example:

      Yesterday someone that I had on Facebook posted a picture in the middle of a lake. Everyone was asking him where he was, and he didn’t reply to anyone, because he was fishing commentaries and likes. Well, in a joke mode, I said the place was where zoo Lisbon monkies used to have a bath. He blocked me. And you know why he did that? Firstly, because other people got uncomfortable, I don’t know why with my commentary, and secondly because he is full of himself.

      After study multimedia and how websites are made because I had to learn that, and now with psychology. I am using my blog to spread my knowledge, and as long as I can give my contribution to a more healthy reality.

      I will write more about this and also focus on children and how it affects them productivity at school and their brain.

      Have a lovely day!

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great points Alexandra. Thanks for such a long explanation. It makes more sense to me now and understanding of the points you were making (I have my own issues too and I fall too fast into pathological narcissistic scenarios, sorry for that). Yet I still don’t agree about narcissists and addicts, looking from my own experiences and knowledge.
    As far as my understanding goes, you have the combinations of addicts who are narcissists too, but you also have addicts who can behave similar to narcissists. But there is one key difference. A true narcissist lacks the feelings of empathy towards others, while “a regular addict” do feel guilty and do have the empathy, he just doesn’t always act the way he knows he should. Narcissists are just pure cold. At least this is how I imagine them.
    I am studying addictive behavior on University, to get a clearer view on everything, but I’m only at the beginning. I know I still might be wrong and will be thankful for some more insights.

    Looking forward for the next post on the topic.
    I wish you a lovely day too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Maja,

      Your commentary made me realize that I need to expand the topic more and explain it more precisely. I am so thrilled that you are at university studying addictive behavior, it will give so much enlightenment about everything.
      You are correct about the lack of empathy, but the line between narcissism and addiction is very tenuous. Individuals with narcissistic traits they post selfies more, but the difference from others is the heavy edition. The poses, and also the descriptions they use or tags, their postages tend to be public, and also, their profiles are open. I can even tell you that on youtube, plenty of channels teach how women should seduce men on Instagram, for example.

      Another thing, unbelievable, is that not all psychologists or a vast majority, aren’t trained to acknowledge the pain that women and men experience after leaving a relationship with a narcissist. Well, I definitely have to write more to explain it better.

      I am glad you shared your opinion with me, and please do it so in the future.

      Big hug! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Obrigada pelo vídeo, Ricardo! Para mim faz todo o sentido porque tenho formação superior na área, e no meu mestrado debati-me contra o facto de apoiarem a utilização de redes sociais como se fosse algo magnifico. Desliguei-me completamente da utilização das mesmas há já algum tempo, e a questão do algoritmo é característica mais grave das redes sociais no geral. Quando abrandar os acontecimentos por estas bandas vou enviar-te um email, ando com vontade de falar contigo sem ser por aqui 🙂

      Uma vez mais, obrigada pela tua contribuição. Um beijo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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