Narcissism in Society Essay

narcissism in society essay

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Narcissism – is the Plague of XXI Century

Narcissism – is the plague of XXI century? In this paper, attention is paid to such problems as the growing narcissism of society. In today’s world, where television shows such “reality” as eyelashes of Kim Kardashian, and people, who dine at the same table, prefer to check their accounts in social networks instead of a “live” conversation – such a situation is not surprising. In a study “The Narcissistic Epidemic: Living in the age of Entitlement” Professor at the University of San Diego, Jean Twenge, compares the growth of narcissistic attitudes to the obesity epidemic in America 80s (Twenge & Campbell, 2009). It is assumed that such a comparison is direct evidence that narcissism is a new disease in today’s society. Other studies comparing personality traits and life goals of the “old” and “new” generation in adolescence show that today’s youth gives priority to external values, contrary to the internal. A new generation more concentrate on money, image and reputation, rather than on the society and sincerity, a sense of belonging to it.

Narcissism has now become an epidemic. It destroys the business and human relationships, generates economic crises and leads to bloody dramas. Keith Campbell, a professor from the University of Georgia tells about it in his new book. Babies these days flaunted shirt with the inscription: “I am – the boss.” The five-year girls go to beauty salons to attend special seminars on makeup. Families are buying big houses, payments for which are more than double of their income. A father kills another because of the conflict of their offspring on the hockey training. “Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser” – said Donald Trump (Ewing, 2010).

Something is rotten in the American state, and not only there. American values ​​permeate throughout and sprout on every corner of the global village. It may be identified as superficial, stupidity, post-modernism, materialism, decadence or a necessity in a world without faith. Keith Campbell and Jean Tweng call it narcissism. All confirmed their words: the social network, the salaries of top managers, benefits “Do It Yourself”, reality shows and the economic crisis. According to Campbell, “if you only have a hammer, everything is a nail you.” Similarly, Narcissi whole world seems a means to self-admiration. Campbell, one of the leading experts in the field of narcissism, cites various studies clearly show that American college students ‘love themselves’ today much more than in the early 80’s. About 10% of young people suffer or have suffered from a narcissistic disorder, while among the elderly, over 65 years, this figure is only 3.2%.

Narcissism is not necessarily manifested in the clinical form (Miller & Campbell, 2008). Many self-loves can boast a good childhood, they are self-confident, self-centered and totally convinced of their superiority over others. It is difficult to be around with them, but they are often knocked out in the big bosses. The whole culture is painted in narcissistic colors, causing normal people feel insecure. Social patterns have a tremendous impact; expressed less self-love begins to seem in bad taste. Planting of narcissism in society is directly related to the growing wave of depression. Many depressed so that they feel their disagreement about standards of materialism and self-centeredness. Campbell cites the example of Susan Boyle, who after the triumphant performance at the “Britain’s Got Talent” contest instantly transformed. “Shaggy Angel” as British journalists call Boyle, plucked bushy eyebrows and dyed hair to gray, despite the entreaties of judges to retain the shape exactly as millions remembered during her performance. Whether it is selfish, Susan could benefit from this “adventure”. However, she turned out to be a normal person who got into the selfishness and failed the test. No less destructive narcissism is for the economy. For example, a loan, it is a very effective tool that allows people to indulge in self-deception about their true success. Homes that are unsupportable burden fell on the family budget, adjusted to the real estate market collapse. Not only economic, but also technological progress makes the egos swell by leaps and bounds. On the Internet, for example, a person can create any look of him or herself, and find far more friends in the open spaces of the social network than in real life.

In the short term, narcissism can lead to success. The American Psychiatric Association eliminated the narcissism of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders» (DSM-5), which is come into force in 2013 (Zanor, 2010). This is the fifth edition of the list of diagnoses that could put U.S. psychiatrists. Europeans use another list – the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), and it seems no one is going to exclude narcissism from there. Perhaps they are simply lagging behind the Americans, for example, homosexuality was crossed from the list of mental disorders DSM-2 back in 1973, and from the ICD-10 – only in 1994. So, in a moment of daffodils stop “narcissist,” as once gays are no longer “suffer homosexuality.” Someone is easier to tie relations, to become a leader, to act in public in case this person loves himself. Made a mistake, that person will always be able to blame it on others, but if someone succeeds in something, he easily ascribes them to his credit. Feelings are great – but only for a while. And then the hangover comes: a bad department head, broken relationships with family and friends, lack of learning from the mistakes – because of constant blaming the others. However, some succeed to “get off” this train coming to a standstill, and flop in a better wagon. Undoubtedly, many daffodils thrive and feel is not bad, but it is terrible for the community. After all, who is more affected by the crisis: the bosses or subordinates?

It is hard to say exactly when narcissism has become an epidemic. Perhaps even in the 16th century, there was a breed brand of individualism. In America, according to Campbell, narcissism has taken root in the 70s, when the call to free love has turned into a declaration of self-love. At the same time, tendencies to painful bloating own “I”: in order to succeed in life and learn to love the other person suggested, first of all, love yourself. This approach can be traced everywhere in the United States, from kindergarten where the morning starts with the song “I am special”, to all kinds of “self-improvement” gurus such as Wayne Dyer, who says: “The best thing about Jesus is that his mother believed that he is son of God.” Campbell does not mean that people should hate themselves. The point is that the real price of self-love is much lower than the market one. “This idea has filtered into all layers of the population and has become a kind of mantra, which is not all right with logic. Do not have a deal with narcissistic people – here is a tip that is far more important than any advice about self-love. Here in America, people are so self-confident it is just scary.” Recently, Campbell had to reduce his little daughter at the ceremony honoring the best student of the month. Before this event, he says sadly, she had to make a poster with a picture of herself and write that it has helped her to become a star. The hardest thing for modern American children – is to learn to play. With so many daily prizes and awards any failure becomes a shock. How many do not try to prepare the child for testing, accustomed to the sensitivity and compassion, the environment pulls it in the opposite direction. In these circumstances, it is difficult to implement tips that give Campbell and Tweng: to take an example from the “modest” stars like Tom Hanks and George Clooney, to encourage kids when they help others, rather than to venture into self-contemplation.

To really get rid of narcissism, America will have to get rid of itself. Campbell admits that he does not have a ready solution to the problem. Loving yourself is easier than to show responsibility and respect. The whole social structure, including the education system and the media, is spreading selfish view of the world. “We need something more massive, but I do not know,” – says Campbell. Perhaps the economic crisis will be this “wonderful tool”, thanks to which the fruits of narcissism turn into a cure for it. What happens if the economy collapses overhaul? Do people turn their backs to tangible assets; will start to appreciate the work and family more? Will this be the long-awaited transformation of?

The researchers from the University of Michigan have suggested that social networks reflect and reinforce the growth of narcissistic pathology in the modern culture (Hauert, 2012). The authors noted that social networks are an excellent means of creating the desired self-image and promote its “uniqueness and exclusiveness” to the masses. Analyzing the data, Elliot Panek noted that Facebook is a modern mirror of Narcissus and Twitter symbolizes echoing the voice of the nymph Echo. Social networking sites allow creating and cherishing own image, obtaining confirmation of self-worth and receiving approval from others. In a study, conducted by American scientists, 486 respondents were involved. The average age was 19 years, and 93 respondents were 30 to 35 years. Participants of the study responded to the questionnaire that revealed different aspects of the use of social networks, as well as completed questionnaires diagnosing manifestations of narcissistic traits. The study confirmed the hypothesized that the level of narcissistic personality manifestations significantly correlated with the level of activity on social networks. Moreover, such a narcissistic trait as “exhibitionism” has a direct, high-level communication with the importance of shared in Twitter posts, and narcissistic traits “grandeur” – the number of photos shared on Facebook and change avatars. Although the researchers could not establish a casual relationship, in terms of what cultural achievements generate a narcissistic pathology or provoke the development of new technologies, this study provides another reason to think about the media’s role in the life of the individual.

Feast of selfishness continues. New generation grows up, love a lot more than all the previous ones, and thus the end of the troubles and crises, it is not expected. After all, they are generated by an indifferent narcissistic tendency to put themselves in the center of the world and not others. This myth will fall, but the question is: at what cost? Should one wait for the heavy turbulence caused by the universal conceit, or the company is still able to find a proper application now? The immediate future depends on the answer to this question.