My Response to: "Against the Wind: Is Twitter and blogging all about narcissism?"

Against the Wind: Is Twitter and blogging all about narcissism?: “Is Twitter and blogging all about narcissism? I came across a couple of “regular” blogs today that were not education related. I did not …”

I read this blog post today and it reminded me of all the times lately that I told someone about using Twitter and they said, “Oh, I don’t want a Twitter.” (Note: You can substitute “Facebook” for “Twitter” and the conversation will probably go about the same way.) You don’t want a Twitter?
“No, I don’t care what everybody’s doing all the time! I don’t want to hear about how they’re eating whatever they’re eating or taking a dump!”

I have to say, in all the years I’ve been using Facebook or Twitter, I can’t think of the last time someone posted that they were in process of evacuating their bowels. And, if someone is, and you’re not interested in it, why not unfollow that person.

That’s what’s awesome about Twitter versus Facebook. On Facebook, you are “friends” with someone. It’s pretty serious to be “friends” and then “unfriend” them. But, on Twitter, you follow. And, really, how hard is it to follow or unfollow someone. I follow all kinds of different people on Twitter. If you say something interesting once, I will probably follow you. Why not? If you get on my nerves I can just unfollow you. And, if I get on your nerves, you can unfollow me! Easy. And, realistically, Facebook could go that way. But, Facebook is a different tool, to me.

This points out another difference between the two, in my opinion. I use Facebook to network with the people I actually know. Facebook is personal and casual. But, since I’m “friends” with over 400 people, I do have to bear in mind that ALL OF THEM will read any given status I put up. Now, if you’re truly narcisstic, then that is a best case scenario. Hell, that’s a dream come true!

I turned to Wikipedia for a look at Narcissim…

So, basically, everyone is a little bit narcissitic. But, a real narcissist is chiefly concerned with themselves at the expense of others. Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder has an inordinate need for attention and approval. In addition, a narcissist has an inflated sense of their abilities. They think they can do more than they can or are better at what they’re doing than they are. I noticed also that psychological tests that identify narcissism show that it is increasing in the United States and that they think it is related to social networking.

It might be, but I think, that it probably has more to do with parents patting their kids on the head for everything. I mean, giving a trophy to every kid on the soccer team, even when the team lost every game, has to have some kind of an effect. I think that the parents of my generation are way too worried about increasing their children’s self-esteem. A wise man once told me that positive self-esteem is the product of doing esteemable acts. If you do things worthy of esteem, you will have a good self-esteem. So, if we tell kids that everything they do is worthy of esteem, we are encouraging narcissism. Just saying. Now, social networking is being invented by children of that same generation, so they’re probably related. But, social networking isn’t making you narcissistic.

Blogging is, though. ha ha

There is healthy narcissism too. I don’t think you can write, paint, lead, direct, or teach without some kind of narcissistic tendencies. It’s a normal human trait. But, like many traits, if it is out of control, it’s a problem. There is a note on that same Wikipedia page near the top that says some think there is a disproportionate number of narcissists in medicine, finance, and politics. I believe it. I bet there are a bunch of them in teaching and entertainment, too.

Okay, so that was a huge digression about me defending my narcissism. And, being narcissistic, I am going to leave it there instead of deleting it. But, back to Twitter. If the people you are following are only talking about the nonsense they did today then you should unfollow them if you don’t care what they did today. The people I follow on Twitter post links to news and stories that I care about. They say things that are interesting to me. I follow tech writers, teachers, entertainers and several comedians. I love following comedians. The good tweeting comedians will drop a funny nugget at least once a day. I use Twitter to learn and to find out what’s going on. I follow people that post about current events, especially events I care about.

Twitter is a tool I use to gather a bunch of information from a variety of sources into one place. Facebook is where I try to share some of that information with people I know and care about. And, blogging is where I reflect on that information and add my part to it and hope to share my thoughts, reflections, and knowledge with others. Plus, you know, I just like writing.

So, that is my take on social networking. Narcissistic? Yes, obviously. But, in an healthy way? Not necessarily. I guess I could have saved a lot of time and just written those couple of sentences… but then, I’m a narcissistic writer, don’tcha know.


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