Apparently our generation is just a bunch of narcissists. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan, college students who frequently post on Facebook and Twitter are statistically more narcissistic than their fellow students. For one thing, duh. And second, who cares?
Everyone knows that when you post on a picture of yourself and your friends out at a bar, its not as a personal memento. Its to show everyone else how awesome your life is. In other, more science-y words, posting on Facebook is linked to the Exhibitionism element of narcissism. That is the term used by the researchers in their study's abstract. Seriously, it took a bunch of scientists to figure out that Facebook is used for blatant self exposure.
Twitter, on the other hand, is coupled with the classic narcissistic superiority complex. Again, a pretty obvious link. Think about it. When you think of something clever, or discover something cool you need to be the first to tweet it, just to show how cool/smart you are. Twitter-wars are a great example of people bitching each other out to display intellectual superiority. A little less obvious than the Facebook findings, but again, a very logical leap for anyone familiar with the twitter-sphere.
You also can't forget about the many other social media apps that easily lend themselves to narcissistic tendencies. Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, and the rest can all be seen as sites for self promotion.
Time.com covered the study and pointed out how dangerous narcissistic tendencies can be, essentially implying how our use of Facebook and Twitter will damage our relationships and make us dysfunctional adults. That may be true, but its not like narcissism is prominent only in our generation, we just have better tools to make everyone aware of how awesome we are.
Baby boomers are known for their generational pride and idealized past accomplishments. Self-portraits of lords and ladies throughout history are physical monuments of narcissism. So are the huge statues and constructions created by kings and queens of the ancient world. Back in the day, only the rich could afford to be narcissistic on a large scale. Now, thanks to the internet and social media, everyone has the capacity to show themselves off.
And besides, whats the point in doing cool shit if you can't share it with the world? Narcissism is nothing new, we've just become the best at it. Now that's narcissism at its finest.