Marielle Genovesi, Culture Editor
Narcissism is defined as inordinate fascination with oneself, or excessive self-love. A choice word when attempting to let off steam about “that guy” in your group of friends who makes every conversation about himself, the professor who seems only to think that what they have contributed is valid or Kanye West.
But is it a word that has also come to define our generation and our culture as a whole? After all, we are the people of the “selfie” and we are indeed a generation who shamelessly self–promotes via media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Whether it is to show off a myriad of study abroad photos or to let everyone know that they got the internship or job of their dreams, these life updates flash across the Internet for [hopefully] everyone to see and obviously appreciate. For a time, checking my Facebook was often followed with regret and even some anxiety. I couldn’t help but feel diminished by what adventures or achievements my “friends” seemed to be grasping at. Your twenties are and should be a time where you experience all that you can, a time to see the world before you commit yourself to grad school or a demanding job, a time where you also figure out what you like best about yourself, or maybe what your true passion may be. With this being said, I can’t help but think, am I making the best of it all? It is therefore only natural that viewing others’ lives through the scope of social media tends to make one feel comparably unsuccessful.
So, why is it that we feel the need to update our Internet comrades with pictures of our night or photos from our vacation? What is the deal with “Throwback Thursdays?” Is it that we feel a need to be appreciated, approved or admired by others, or are we truly narcissistic, and feel that our Internet presence is expected and important? Part of me thinks, yes, we suddenly seem to be full participants of a culture that needs to be visually entertained, that only feels attractive by obtaining “likes” on Facebook or Instagram, or “favorites” on snarky Twitter posts. Yet, as frustrating as the need to showcase one’s life is, there is something about being obscenely self-loving that may be pretty awesome.
There is an aspect of our rather narcissistic lives that should be viewed with an appreciative eye. Never before have people our age been able to be as connected as we are. Instead of feeling small, I have begun to feel intrigued, pushed to want the adventures or the success my friends have or are having. Sure, everything seems blown out of proportion over the Internet, and what I have chosen to do in my early twenties is by no means uncool or a waste. But, in the end why does it matter that some choose to excessively self-promote? Instead of being aggravated by Internet brags, maybe we can appreciate another’s pride, whether it be celebrating their graduation from four grueling years of college, or posting a large montage of family reunion photos, announcing an engagement or the birth of a child. These are the moments in life we treasure and for a good reason. It seems that it is only human that we should want to share our happiness and pure joy with others, even if to a great excess.
So, to all you narcissists out there, keep up the self-love and the shameless self-promotions, because it’s pretty cool to feel connected, and it’s even cooler to take pride in who you are and what you chose to do.