Narcissism or Loneliness?

09_YourEyes This morning I was reading an article in the USA Today entitled, Is narcissism on the upswing in the young?  Some research shows more young people today have "narcissistic traits" than in previous generations and is illustrated by a preoccupation with Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.   

Not everyone agrees. Cyberpunk writer Bruce Sterling recently proposed that the
clearest symbol of poverty today is dependence on “connections” like the
Internet, Skype, and texting.  Only the poor — defined broadly as those without better options — are obsessed with their connections.

So, is the accelerated proliferation and popularity of social media a glaring indicator of how relationally impoverished we are or does it highlight our intrinsic narcissism?  Are we just a bunch of online bums looking for love in all the wrong places?  Do we really have nothing better to do?

One possible way to answer those questions is to unplug and take a week off from cyberspace.  Self reflection has always been critical.  When all is said and done, did you missed it and why? If you didn't miss it, why?  The answer may surprise you. It may have nothing to do with narcissim or loneliness as they say at all. Adbusters is encouraging us to digitally detox our lives this week to find out what we might discover.  For seven days, reconnect with the natural world and the flesh and blood people around you.  Take a break.  See what happens. So…I guess I'll see you next week.

Posted in Attitude, Communication, Community, Quandaries, Technology

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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