Has narcissism always been an issue? 70



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Looking at the television or newspapers today it appear narcissism is permeating from every crevice, more so than I ever remember.  But is it our own fault? And do you believe it is having a detrimental effect on society or is it making our young more resilient?

In previous decades people have been obsessed by stars just like they are today…  the royals have been famously chased for photos, the Hollywood movie stars have been fatigued by the tireless pursuit of photographers, and the socialites have all been a feature of magazines for years and years and years. And we’ve watched on, looking at our own lives and wondering how they compare. Then came reality TV, where we were meant to watch reflections of ourselves in the screen.  Socialites were in there too, making a name for themselves by being at “everything”, looking beautiful and doing nothing in particular.

And frankly, it appears the socialites have won.  Narcissism is taking over.  The world now seems to be full of famous people that do … nothing.  Reality TV stars that have great lips and a solid body, a blank personality and a memorable name…

Looking at today’s papers and magazines, they could well be a sad reflection of what people hold close to their hearts, and what they want to read about.  It appears Renee Zellweger’s misshapen eyebrows and potential plastic surgery today is way more important than the current affairs and politicalnews in the media.  And socialites, like Kim Kardashian and  every move is more monitored than ever.

Some say it is because of reality TV, and its impact on society.  Others say it is because of mobile phones, and how dependent everyone has become on presenting their best image of themselves through social media rather than their real life.  And others say it is all our own fault… we created it by being on technology, consuming media every single day.

According to the latest research, we are a nation of tech addicts – a staggering 74 per cent of 16-24 year olds need to have their mobile phones with them at all times.  The study, which looks at the impact of digital disruption to both society and human psychology, shows that young people don’t behave or think in the same way as they did ten years ago.

And so I ask you… is this just a younger generation thing, or has the Baby Boomer generation also entered the fold of narcissism? Or has it always been there and the media has just brought it out?

Do you get a kick out of selfies and self-review?  Are you still seeking approval in your life?  or did you give this up long ago?  Be honest! 😉

REFERENCE: According to Wikipedia, Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes, that derive from arrogant pride. The term originated from the Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. There’s an interesting novel by Ken Wilber called Boomeritis, which argues the boomer generation (the ME Generation) are highly narcissistic, often under a veil of pluralism. Of course, whether or not this is generalisable, the younger generation these days of social media, selfies etc takes the cake of narcissism gone too far.

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