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Gonda1 Brie Gonda Mr.

Brian Newman English 101: Rhetoric 22 November 2013 Social Narcissism Everyone, whether they use it or not, know about the existence of social media of some sort. People on all different paths of life use Facebook, Twitter and other types of internet interaction sites: moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, kids and teenagers alike. Everyone uses these sites for different reasons but there are many people who have a belief that social media and the rise of narcissism may be connected. On one hand, some argue that the two are directly related and social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, are changing younger generations into blatantly narcissistic people. Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, agrees with this opinion to some extent. She believes that narcissism clearly leads to more social media use but it is less clear whether social media directly causes narcissism. While some maintain this opinion, others disagree saying that social media only allows its users to strengthen themselves and it does not change the person at all. Jeff Bullas, a strategist and speaker backs this claim and explains the truth behind what social media actually accomplishes. Far from creating narcissists, social media makes us stronger, teaching us how to take praise as well as criticism. He believes that there is no connection between narcissism and the use of social media and stands by the idea that the ideas of narcissism and social media are actually more parallel. While some agree that social media is a cause of narcissism, I believe that it is a misconception of already narcissistic users dominating and influencing other users to change from self-promotion to bragging.

Gonda2 Many people believe that narcissism is a side-effect of using social media. Psychotherapist, Eleanor Payson believes that the word narcissist, referring to the need for selfabsorption, can be directly linked to social media. However, she does supports the claim that social media can become the perfect drug for individuals with narcissistic tendencies and it serves as the ideal stage but the growth of narcissism is not a direct cause of social media use. Every individual has their own personality and instinct impulses and a site like Facebook can give each individual the opportunity to bring about those tendencies more so than they would be brought out naturally. Because each person has their own personality, it should not be surprising that each person handles social media differently. Some people tend to be more confrontational and they like to push their ways onto others. Depending on how strong ones personality is depends on if they will give into the narcissistic ways of other social media users. Payson continues on, saying that once we understand the actual issues involved in narcissistic disturbance, we can be on the lookout for how we, and others, use and rely on social media platforms. She then says that once we can accomplish this, then we can be aware of when sharing on social media goes from simply sharing into attention-seeking. It is not the creation of narcissism but rather the nurtured tendencies of each social media user that brings about the rise in narcissism. Social media sites are clearly influence by those high in narcissism at a rate higher than their fair share (Twenge). Many people support this claim and agree that social media encourages narcissistic people to grow and be more narcissistic which, in turn, can rub off on other people, creating a chain reaction. On the other hand, many believe that the ideas of narcissism and social media use are completely uncorrelated. I agree that the two are not linked because though I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a Vine, I do not find myself becoming a more narcissistic person. Joe

Gonda3 Holt is an actor who has appeared in Greys Anatomy, N.C.I.S., Scandal, Franklin and Bash, and many national television commercials. He believes that Facebook isnt the problem. Being an actor, Holt uses Facebook as a means of publicity and self-promotion, not bragging. He believes that many people cross the line of good publicity into bragging very often and that is what makes Facebook users seem narcissistic. Many people use social media to alert their friends about the good things that are happening in their lives. We think that in order to appreciate the goods things in our life, we have to brag to others on social media as a means of justification. Our need to validate ourselves with outside approval [is our problem] (Holt). So, social media is not our problem at all, it is the way that people take advantage of being able to brag easily. Social media is not an explosion of narcissism (Bullas), but rather a new kind of creativity. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow people such as musicians, photographers, artists and authors to share their creations for free and get feedback for them. Just as Holt was saying, social media is the perfect place to put ones makings and receive real time responses. In Bullas view, this feedback loop may look like narcissism but in fact it is a means for growth that challenges and changes the creator as readers and viewers comment and interact. I agree with him wholeheartedly. Because I enjoy being a singer/songwriter as well as a writer, I can use my Facebook and Twitter as means to spread out what I have created to others, not to brag, but to see what people think. Through these social media sites, I can ask what they think and get constructive criticism towards what I made. Unfortunately, many times posting creations to social media sites can be easily perceived as being self-absorbed or attention seeking, two of the presumed bad things about social media.

Gonda4 I have grown up believing that no one can change who you are unless you allow outside forces to influence you. Though I acknowledge the idea that narcissism and social media could be seen as linked, I still agree with Holt and Payson that it is not linked. I stand by my opinion that the only way narcissism is seen is through the misuse of self-promotion and the large population of attention seekers. Holding onto the idea of narcissists running social media, I would argue that unless one was allowing those people to influence them, it would be highly unlikely that social media would be the cause of the rise in narcissism. The sad reality of it is that many people are self-absorbed and they dominate social media sites, making it a place that others feel uncomfortable if they decided not to sway their ways towards narcissism. So then, the real question is, is it a rise of narcissism or a sea of peer-pressure?

Gonda5 Works Cited Bullas, Jeff. Everyone Has a Voice, Everyone Is Judged. Room for Debate. New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. Holt, Joe. Facebook Isnt the Problem. Room for Debate. New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. McKinney, Bruce. The New Normal. Room for Debate. New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. Payson, Eleanor. The Perfect Stage. Room for Debate. New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. Quenqua, Douglas. Seeing Narcissists Everywhere. Room for Debate. New York Times, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. Twenge, Jean. Its a Narcissism Enabler. Room for Debate. New York Times, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.