Today success is defined not as result of talent but of social networking. Social media is creating a youth culture of digital narcissism, this is what I mean by narcissistic supply.
Children are the physical manifestation of their parent’s unresolved issues. The Great Depression and War-Era generation prioritized economic security and raised their children to build practical, secure careers. Their children, known as Baby Boomers, chased the American dream with years of hard work. As the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity in 1970’s until the 1990’s they exceeded their career expectations.
This led them to raise their children, known as Generation Y, with a sense of optimism and unbound possibility, installing the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches. Generation Y became tremendously hopeful about their careers and replaced the idea of the American Dream with their Own Personal Dream.
Through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, they were lead to believe that they are special, even though they lack justification for this belief. Their inflated views of themselves led to a level of entitlement and respect that was out of line with their actual abilities and effort levels.
Deluded self-worth and high expectations resulted in frustration.
Since the formula for happiness is reality minus expectations; the result can only be unhappiness when reality turns out to be worse than the expectations.
Facebook is not creating communities but neurosis. By looking at the lives of others, people have the expectation that they are supposed to be happy.
Every day more than 80 million images are uploaded and over 3.5 billion “likes” distributed on Instagram. Some 1.4 billion people, around 20% of the world’s population, are publishing details of their lives on Facebook.
In the age of always-on-media, Internet addiction is corrupting our values and culture.
Not only is it causing a dangerous confusion between virtual reality and life, it is also offering highly addictive alternatives to the pressures and frustrations of the real world.
In the US, diagnoses of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have risen sharply over the past 10 years: the rate of increase is comparable to the rise in the rate of obesity.
On social media individual lives and activities are out in the open, often presenting an inflated version of the real existence. People with successful careers and relationships are often more active in distributing content, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. Many are left feeling unhappy, frustrated and inadequate from seeing what their life is not giving them.