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.
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!