Like it or not our generation are all narcissists. We are fixated with our own endeavours and our own self-promotion. We document what we do to within an inch of our lives in an attempt to make ourselves look more interesting than we really are.
With assistance from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other online mediums alike, the whole world is now aware of what we’re having for dinner, what we’re wearing that day – or not wearing as many photos suggest – ,what we’re thinking, where we’re going and who we are hanging out with. It’s as if we think other people genuinely take an interest in our lives. Do you care about a girl you haven’t seen since you left school is spending her Saturday night doing?
A simple ‘be there in 5’ text to a friend has turned into public information, informing our said friend of our whereabouts via Twitter’s 140 characters so our followers can see that we are leaving the house and engaging in social activity.
We have the power to cause an enormous amount of jealousy and unhappiness through the pictures we upload. “You get more explicit and implicit cues of people being happy, rich, and successful from a photo than from a status update,” Hanna Krasnova of Humboldt University Berlin, co-author of the study on Facebook and envy, has observed. “A photo can very powerfully provoke immediate social comparison, and that can trigger feelings of inferiority. You don’t envy a news story.” Although it is often infuriating reading through Facebook statuses and Tweets, seeing what people are spending their money on, and knowing you can’t afford it, is even worse.
These online platforms have also made us believe that we have a right to an opinion, which is a dangerous concept. Due to the rise of the Blogger we all see ourselves as budding journalists, when in fact most of us don’t have much to say. The Twitter ‘#’, no longer exclusive to Twitter, enables you to join in the conversation and voice your view on topics being discussed, regardless of whether or not you truly know what you are talking about.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of self-expression, but we live our lives through an electronic device filled with apps that have essentially taken over. You can’t help but wonder what it will be like in years to come when our children are our age – it is more than likely that they will be much worse than us.
Will our relationships with other people be based purely on technology?