I, narcissist – vanity, social media, and the human condition
Are the likes of Instagram and Facebook turning us all into vain and attention-seeking narcissists, or were we that way to begin with?
By: Carmen Fishwick
Published: 17 March 2016
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/17/i-narcissist-vanity-social-media-and-the-human-condition
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
BEFORE YOU READ
Watch the following videos, take notes and think about how narcissism and social media is linked to one another.
• The Psychology of Narcissism  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJLy3hX1E8
• The Upside of Social Media Narcissism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iryLv3FMKsM
• Social media causing ‘narcissism epidemic’ says 2014 report http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/femail/video-1134584/Social-media-causing-narcissism-epidemic-teens.html
Are you narcissistic? Take the test and find out. http://personality-testing.info/tests/NPI/

QUESTIONS
1. The numbers given in the first paragraph show that people…
2. Why is the increase in the rate of Narcissistic Personality Disorder so shocking?
3. Studies claiming correlation between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and social media point out that the increase in some behaviors can be examples of narcissism. Which one(s) of the following statements fits the statement above?
• Increase in the desire to tell your followers about your life
• Increase in the desire to attract more followers
• Increase in the desire to project an honest image online
• Increase in the desire to have fewer   facebook friends
• Increase in the desire to have mutual followers

4. How does McMahon argue against numerous studies linking social media and narcissism?
5. Refer back to question 4. How does McMahon justify his claim? By stating that…
6. How can someone justify the care and attention devoted to deciding what to post? By saying….
7. Which of the following statements are NOT symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
• Compassion for others
• A deep need for admiring
• Striving for the best beyond reason
• Not befriending anyone unpopular
• Complimenting others
8. As inferred from the text, what kind of pressure does the social media put on people?
9. How does McMahon explain the idea that our self-esteem benefits from social media?
10. According to Clyde, if a person posts photos of the highlights of their life online, the narcissism behind those posts is (circle as many as you think fits the sentence)
• ENHANCED BY SOCIAL MEDIA
• ENHANCED BY POPULARITY
• ENHANCED BY PEERS
• ENHANCED BY APATHY
• ENHANCED BY AWARENESS
11. In the text, we see some statements sympathizing with narcissists. Give an example to such statements.
12. In the end, why do people use social media?

WRITING TASK
Look back at all your notes and write an argumentative essay about social media and its effect on narcissism. Is narcissism only magnified by social media or is it social media that causes narcissism in people?

I, NARCISSIST – VANITY, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND THE HUMAN CONDITION ANSWER KEY
1. Are more self-obsessed now than before.
2. Because the increase is comparable to the rise in the rate of obesity.
3. 1-2
4. By saying that there could be a wider cultural increase in narcissism in the west that’s then reflected in social media. “By saying that the link between narcissism and social media is not clear-cut” is an introductory statement but you need to be more specific with your answer.
5. By stating that it already existed and we’re simply more aware of those traits because of the prevalence of social media
6. By saying it makes them successful, well-known and makes money
7. 1-2-5
8. The stress of getting the perfect selfie, stress of oversharing, stress of creating a positive impression of yourself, stress of getting more likes and followers
9. It allows people to test different identities and find a comfortable place in society.
10. 1-2-3
11. “If you’re a narcissist, you’re looking for a positive reflection of yourself, the world is your mirror and you’re constantly looking for affirmation.” Clyde / “someone using available technology to further his career and keep up with expectations” -Price
12. Because people are looking for external validation

Prepared by Aslıhan Nur EROL

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