The Internet and Narcissism

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I come online regularly, it is a part of my day as it is in many other people’s lives yet I cannot quite fathom some of the behaviours that I have witnessed from the Internet. There are people out there that need to be seen, need to show that they are someone and need to show off who they are. I find it narcissistic. In fact narcissism was a word that wasn’t even in my vocabulary up until a few years ago. I had read about it in my local newspaper and actually had to write it down so I would remember it so I could check it out online later on.

There are people that I come across in my day to day life that find that if they are not Tweeting, Facebooking, or posting pictures, blogging information or some other little thing about themselves to the world that their arm will feel like it has been cut off. Granted I am using the internet to write this today and have probably have developed a voice since using it but I do not rely on it for my entertainment, it does not make my life complete nor does it actually make my day.

The internet is a wonderful tool. I find it has so many advantages to it that it has really opened doors to communication with people that I wouldn’t otherwise talk to or have that chance to communicate with. It has given me tools that allow me to express myself, it gives me a window of opportunity when I want to get in touch with someone quickly and I know that they will respond. It has also given me freedom of speech to talk  about and discuss things that matter to me just as this article is that I am writing right here and now.

 But like everything it has its down sides.

 Recently I received an email from someone that is close to me who professes he receives up to one hundred emails a day from clients and people that contact him. That is a hell of a lot of correspondence! I know that for me when I open my inbox each morning there are emails for me from all corners of the globe on things that I have subscribed to, people that I know that I have written to or correspondence which is spam and has nothing to do with me whatsoever. So Internet has its place.

 Once upon a time a handwritten letter was something we could treasure and we could feel close to as we opened up the envelope. Sometimes it may be scented with perfume from a lover telling us how much we are loved or what we meant to them, we can’t do that with an email.

 But the Internet leaves me wary at times and although I am a writer I do not feel the urge to want to write on the Internet every day, I can use an exercise book or I can just use Microsoft Word. I love to interact with people in person and discuss things face to face. Although there are things such as Skype sometimes the Internet feels like a sterile environment where we can talk, we can chat, we can communicate but we cannot show our true emotions on the screen, we cannot hug or kiss or make love. We cannot feel, touch, and smell so there are little things that the Internet lacks. The things that make things us special as people.

 But sometimes we read how we need to be more mindful, we need to be more compassionate, we have too many flaws, we have this we have that and then as we read we find that we are starting to wonder what is good and what is not after awhile. What is best for me may not be for the next person and what may be OK for them may not be for us. It’s about having a balance. Being humble with ourselves and with others. Just realising that whatever we are we are. We can take what good we need and leave out what we don’t. I have never been one to follow a crowd and when Facebook started out, I was one of the last to cotton on to it when I had family and friends who would talk about it being the next best thing. My Mum would ring and say did you see such and such on my sister’s Facebook page and then after awhile I decided to check out what this Facebook was all about. It was only this year I signed up for Twitter and yeah OK I have been blogging for a bit.

 Like it or lump it the Internet has brought out the best and the worst in all of us. It is not going to leave us now but it has made us more aware of who is out there and has brought us closer together as people. Our privacy is sometimes invaded, people want to know everything about us, right down to what colour we chose to wear. Narcissism is fine in small doses and its great when we can think of ourselves in a healthy conscious way, it is when we start to believe we are superior to others that gets me and when people start to gloat that they have a better car, house, kids, job or whatever else crops into the person’s mind that makes them feel that sense of entitlement.

 Remember we all came into this earth the same way and we all may have gone on to lives that we may have not been chosen for us but we can do something about them, with or without things such as the Internet to keep us occupied. Never forget who you are and where you have come from. Look at how your life was before the Internet came along and what made you become the person that you are. The Internet is great yes but it should not be everything.

Photo credit: cogdogblog via Foter.com / CC BY

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