Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Narcissism is an Anachronism

Narcissism is an anachronism.

The way the world works today, people are posting profiles about themselves online, not because they are preoccupied with themselves, but because they are interested in connecting with others.

It's just something you do in the normal course of living online. Community sites require you to put up a profile. Your profile is the cog in the wheel of MySpace.

Narcissim is a word from another time.
narcissism: "A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem."
Anachronism: an artifact that belongs to another time.
You are going to see a lot more postings about this in the future.

Blog posts, Forum posts, Podcasts and Video blog entries.

Not because we have excessive love for ourselves, but because we have excessive love for others.

Narcissism is an Anachronism - Official Store. ;-) Because someone was going to do it.


  1. Narcissim is still around. Blogging/vlogging just isn't a pure example of it.

  2. Good point.

    I should have been clear about the context of the definition.

  3. **"It's just something you do in the normal course of LIVING ONLINE."**

    LIVING ONLINE... Maybe this line is the most telling of all. Our communication is not independent of our culture - or its delivery systems. Example: how many people build profiles that "project" themselves as UNINTERESTED, or UNINTERESTING? Our mediated world is built on image consumption.

    So here are some points:

    1.) Is blogging yourself to anonymous receivers "self-preoccupation"? Would it be if there were no internet? What if we all just stood on a box in Boston Commons and spoke out loud? If you are blogging for a specific person, then why not JUST send them your post? We post because each of us believes WE have something "important" to say to others.

    2.) Empathy is a HUMAN condition. Human-to-human. Blogging may FEEL like it's h-to-h, but it isn't. (Me writing this directly to STEVE GARFIELD is only a bit closer.) Oddly, one definition of empathy is "attribution to one's own feeling to an OBJECT".

    3. Deficits in self-esteem...? Ask yourself this question: How many times (a day) do you contemplate the number of hits your blog is getting? Nuf said.

    Maybe one definition for narcissism should consider how much a person REJECTS any possibility of being narcissistic!!!

    In some ways, this topic of narcissism is like kicking a dead horse. It's a ME world. Does it really matter? Can we just get on to making BETTER posts? Ha.

  4. Anonymous5:04 PM

    Alright, so someone finally used the "N" word in describing the blogging/vlogging world. And by using that N word set off all those connotations associated with that word. But lets stop and question those connotations. Self absorbed, obsessed with themselves, oblivious to others. Okay, yeah, thats narcissim. But so fucking what? Why is it that in that our culture, and indeed in most culture for all of history, there have always been negative connotations associated with narcissm? Why is it bad? I can't figure that one out. I know for myself I have an instinctive negative reaction to those that are narcisstic and I often have to stop and question myself as to why I should feel that way. What the fuck, let these guys go around paying attention to themselves. Who does it hurt? Maybe sometimes its even interesting and clever. So what if all they can say or see is "me, me, me". Why should this be seen as some sort of moral shortcomings? If I had to guess I would bet that many highly successful people, who are often put on a pedastal as someone we should look up to, are at heart incredibly narcisstic. But look where they are.
    So my suggestion to you guys is to not fight the narcisim charge, but to embrace it. Yeah, you're all screaming "LOOK AT ME!!!!", but so what. Fuck em. Scream it.