Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Noem and Narcissism

It seems that everyone has a burning desire to talk about Representative Kristi Noem's selfie from the Far East with a fellow Republican representative.  The picture was taken while on a trade junket to the East.  A great time to hang out, see the sights, and cozy up with Eric Cantor.  Did she accomplish anything else?  That seems very unclear and unlikely.  If Noem secured some trade partnerships, I would have thought she would have twitted about that instead.  

I am old enough that I have not gotten into this constant selfie thing.  I have had several students do some speeches about the craze and the potential dangers surrounding it.  More and more scientists are connecting the use of the selfie to narcissism.  
"Selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self-indulgence or attention-seeking social dependence that raises the damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't spectre of either narcissism or low self-esteem," said Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today.
This issue of increased narcissism and social media was discussed in a recent Guardian article showing the link to a decrease of empathy and altruism:
Unsurprisingly, narcissism levels have been rising for decades. Such increases pre-date social media but they have clearly exacerbated since its emergence. At the same time, there has been a steep decline in altruism and empathy levels since the advent of Facebook and Twitter. We are now more connected than ever, but also less interested in other people, except when it comes to finding out what they think about us.
Maybe Noem and her fellow representative should have paid attention to this reminder from Dr. David Houghton in The Daily Lounge:
"People, other than very close friends and relatives, don't seem to relate well to those who constantly share photos of themselves," said Dr. David Houghton, a professor at Birmingham Business School and lead author of the paper, said in a statement. "It’s worth remembering that the information we post to our ‘friends’ on Facebook, actually gets viewed by lots of different categories of people: partners; friends; family; colleagues and acquaintances; and each group seems to take a different view of the information shared." 

No comments:

Post a Comment