Does Social Media Addiction Really Equal Narcissism?

Yesterday, I wrote an article providing productive and intelligent alternatives to scrolling down miles of social media content. Because, yes, I do believe that scrolling through social media every minute and a half is an incredible waste of time. However, that is contingent upon whether or not you have meaningful content on your feed. Regardless, several studies have found a correlation between increased social media activity and depression. But think about it, social media depresses most people. So why would anyone want to return regularly to condemn themselves to such perpetual torture? The answer is that we hear most commonly is that these people are simply narcissists and are characteristically obsessed with self-reverentialism and recognition. But what if we’re being too quick to judge from the outside? We’re judging the content of the box by what’s on the outside of the box. When in reality the box looks super pretty and the contents are just crumpled up papers.

All of us are hurting from something, but we maintain a myriad of distractions that keep us from addressing the deep dark truth. We may be fighting with our partners, dealing with anxiety or depression, or coping with a major loss. While it may look like it, no one is immune to pain and hurt, but we all like to put on different facades to convince others that our lives are not only perfectly happy, but enviable. That’s a common response. So imagine being in the shoes of a person that has learned to cope by mistakenly placing all their confidence and self-worth in receiving attention from others. While this can sometimes demonstrate that a person is narcissistic, it also points to the inner desire to be liked. Maybe they had a rough childhood wherein they felt as though they needed to earn the love and affections of their parents or that they are fighting with a deep rooting feeling of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

All of us face hardships in our lives and have, therefore, created a system for coping with it. Some may turn inward and focus on spending time in their own company to recuperate. Others turn outward and seek others encouragement, support and validation in times of despair. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are narcissists, they are just demonstrating their learned method of coping. So if you notice a friend of yours on Facebook, Instagram, etc who perpetually posts pictures to get attention, view it as more of a desperate cry for help that we all experience on more than one occasion in our own lives.

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