Amarachi Okeh: 4 Effects of Social Media & Narcissism on Your Personality

dreamstime_l_49949473Social media has made life picture perfect. Everything is glossy, everyone is gorgeous and smiling. Everything seems affordable.

You can’t deny having those social media fashionistas that we look up to for fashion inspiration, especially ladies. I mean, who doesn’t like looking at those pictures or watching the makeup videos and dream? Not entirely a bad idea itself; but it becomes one when you become immersed and obsessed about the other person’s life that gradually you start losing it. Losing yourself.

You bought those shoes, dresses, make up because it looked good on someone on Instagram, Facebook and all therefore you have to get one! So that begins the incessant unending impulsive purchases you won’t easily untangle yourself from. But then, at that moment your brain isn’t thinking that what works for Jane may not for Joan, but who cares? .

With every impulsive expenditure you make, I doubt you’ve ever considered that you are gradually turning into a narcissist? Yes. This particular self absorption is perhaps the most obvious but subtle psychological effect that social media has. Thinking about just me, me, me and how I will get this and get that. Now you are so immersed in yourself that the essential needs of people around seem so minute compared to the handbag or dress or shoe or make up you MUST have! Your need for these things just seem as important as air itself. How you’d dress so that people will appreciate you especially on social media- people you don’t even know. You literally live for their approval.

I bumped into an article on NEW York Times that talks about social media and narcissism. It says that, ‘Instagram (social media) does not create a narcissist, but has suggested it acts like an accelerant – a near ideal platform to facilitate grandiose exhibitionism.’ I totally agree with them. In social media, the virtual competition is never ending.

It’s like a foggy obsession and struggle. You can’t think clearly until the fog is gone. It’s like you are in this competition with people you barely or don’t even know. In a competition to win likes and shares and compliments as if it is all there is to your life. You depend on it. It’s just like as my friend wrote, ‘you’ve given away the power of how you feel about yourself to how people feel about you.’ It’s gradual. You don’t notice it at first. Without knowledge, you are addicted to becoming that adorned person they idolise and struggle to keep up with this new person that is loved and admired on social media. You are no longer comfortable with whom you are. The need to become this other person is so overwhelming that you’re lost. You can’t seem to identify yourself unless through another person’s lens.

It doesn’t come without its effects:

Loss of self-esteem
You compare yourself with someone who basically doesn’t know of your existence. You think that you don’t and can’t look good until you get a certain dress or whatever your mind is currently fixed on. You judge your worth through another person’s eye. Being just you is no longer comfortable. You have to meet up with the virtual standard you have created for yourself so every effort is meant to keep this adorned social image on.

Greedy and Insatiable
You see you want. You see more you want more. You are just not satisfied. Sure you are familiar to these responses to some fashion post ‘how can I get?’, ‘please where did you get it from,’ can you share the link?’
You are restless until you have that skirt, that shoe, that lipstick or whatever it is. ‘Oh my goodness, it’s so lovely! Where did you get it from?’ Despite the fact that you don’t need them or your finances aren’t so happy, you just don’t mind. The more you see, the more you want. You keep spending. The more you spend the greedier you are. You have become this insatiable person. You just can’t stop having.

No more Savings
I had learned the hard way about this. I sat staring at my account balance, I wanted to cry. In short, I did. I had spent a huge chunk of my savings on placing orders for clothes hanging unworn in my wardrobe and shoes gathering dusts on my shoe rack. I couldn’t tell anyone. How could I do that? It’s shameful enough on its own!
Mentally, you are calculating the things you need to get and not thinking of how much your finances are dwindling. Nope, not until you have it. You spend on impulse. Dip into our savings with the never happening thoughts of replacing it.

My first hand experience isn’t what I’d wish anyone, really. Readily, ladies fall here. It all starts innocently and it doesn’t end easily without any strong efforts. No, it doesn’t just go away ‘,ok, this’s the last one,’ you can’t wish it away. No. You WORK it away!

Hey, it’s not wrong to want a lovely dress, pairs of shoes, handbag or whatever it is you want. It’s absolutely not wrong but what is wrong is when you gradually lose your sense of reasoning, savings and gradually become greedy, insatiable and self absorbed. Now, that it is wrong.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

7 Comments on Amarachi Okeh: 4 Effects of Social Media & Narcissism on Your Personality
  • o February 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I honestly don’t believe that SM can make you become greedy if you didn’t have it in you already!!

  • chi February 16, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Too true

  • letty February 16, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    It’s not talking about greed it’s talking about self aggrandisement mindless showing off and shallowness. Instagram has created a hoard of mindless people displaying mindless photos of shoes clothes and stupidity. It’s amazing that people need others to validate them. Vacuousness is at an all time high and very ugly to watch. I shudder more at the people that respond affirming these posts.

  • Oma February 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    On point! this is so true.

  • Cici February 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    So on point. The way some of them dress and show off their travel destinations will make one wonder what they actually earn? Just to belong, some borrow or do “runs” just to pretend they have or they’ve been. Especially Naija so called celebrities that hardly make enough with their mediocre incomes to pay landlord, you see them showing off to pretend they have in order to impress and get invitation to events. I wonder how long the facade will last and they start scrapping the bottom of the bowl and begging for food to eat, talk less of shoe and bag. The wise ones are quiet, working, saving and investing for the rainy days, while the eggheads are carrying expensive faux pas designer clothes, shoes and bags from one one stupid event to another, posting endless mindless rubbish and ceaseless nonesensical photo shoots and time wasting vblogs on social media and all over the Internet.

  • Amaka February 17, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Preach!

  • Na-me-talk-am February 19, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Hello writer,
    In the 6th paragraph you used “like as”. You either use one or the other but not both together okay.
    Welldone.

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