• Ernesto L. Brea

Narcissism in Cyberspace

Updated: Jun 6, 2021

The role of Technology

As technology has provided us with an abundance of ways to share both every day and extraordinary events, have we come to depend on them too much? We may sometimes feel that unless something is captured, shared, and analysed via social media that we have not fully experienced it. In other words, if something is not “lived out loud” does it exist? Have we become too accustomed to the idea that everyone is the star of their own reality series? So-called personal media emphasize the most harmful aspects of narcissism – and actually encourage it.

self-worth or importance in the person who is sending out these images.

Such traits and people have always existed, but new technology accelerates and accentuates these tendencies. Social media have been around for a long time now and they have increasingly become personal media outlets of our own making. Contrary to belief, it is not just something that afflicts the younger generation. Very few people choose or wish to remain out of the cyber-loop. But it becomes problematic when we begin to believe that everything we do or say is fascinating or noteworthy.

How to recognize narcissism in cyberspace

All of this self-absorption has other consequences, as well. We should be mindful of the personal cost in relation to our most cherished life events. Many of us have had the experience of being so busy recording something – through video cameras or mobile phones – that we later realize we have lost touch with the moment. We may have the shock of looking back at photographs only to realize that we were so distracted trying to capture the event in order to post it on social media that we did not really fully appreciate or enjoy it while it was happening.

Moreover, the constant maintenance of our various social media outlets robs us of the joy of spending time with others free from electronic intrusions. Sometimes, we just need to turn away from the screen, and pay full attention to those we are with. It might not provide the immediate gratification of being the star of your own twenty-four hour “me show” but the rewards are infinitely deeper.

If you feel affected by any of the issues described in this article you can discuss these with me in person. I am a counsellor based in Waterloo, and also offering psychotherapy in Kennington. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Images on Creative Commons license courtesy of Mike Licht,, MySignAG, nocklebeast

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