/ BECC4: Blogging & Narcissism

24.5.18

Blogging & Narcissism

So, I was recently trying to explain to one of my housemates exactly what blogging is, why I do it, and what it entails etc. I thought I'd given him a really good, succinct spiel on how it works and what blogging's all about, except, when I looked up all I saw was a flummoxed look on his face.  Yeah, not quite the response I was expecting. I know, if you don't know much about this whole content creating shebang that it can seem a bit full on, but the look on his face said nothing clearer than 'but who the f**k cares?'. Do people actually care which shade of lipgloss you're wearing today, or whether you had almond or soy milk in your morning coffee? Are your latest fashion buys that important, and is following someone on every single social media platform really that necessary?...

This conversation led me to question the whole blogging thing and why it is that so many of us do it? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love posting over here on Becc4, including all the taking of photos, planning of content and sharing on social media. Watching my following grow and my engagement increase is really satisfying and I'm so fortunate that other people out there like what I do. The whole 'blogging community' is by far the best part of this industry, and I've never met a more supportive bunch of people, 99% of them I've never even met. Heck, they're more excited when I post a new Instagram post than are half of the people on my personal account whom I've known for years. Let's put it this way, a selfie on my personal account gets about 60 likes and a couple of comments, a picture of a hot cross bun on my blog's Instagram account hits 160 likes and 11 comments, a hot cross bun?!? Point in case: the blogging community is full of the most supportive, friendly people and I'm delighted to be a part of it.

I am currently in my second year of studying a BSc in Psychology, and one field of research that is currently being heavily studied, particularly at my university, is narcissism. Narcissism, narcissism, narcissism. It's a word that's being thrown around pretty often on social media at the moment and is frequently a term aimed at us 'millennials.' The percentage of people in the population that meet the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder is on the rise, but I don't think that will come as a shock to anyone given current beauty standards, and the complete and utter mess the world is in at the moment. The rise of social media has been one of the most cited reasons for such, which I personally think is a bit of a given.

The DSM 5's criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder include having a grandiose sense of self-importance, having a sense of entitlement and requiring excessive admiration... Now, don't get me wrong, I am not calling all bloggers narcissists, not by any stretch of the definition, that would be absurd. What I am trying to do here, is start a discussion on this whole blogging thing and why it is that so many of us do it? Is it because we are all slowly becoming slightly self-obsessed? Do we need constant validation that our opinions matter and other people like us/our sense of style/our home decor/ our recipes/ anything? Or is just it because sharing parts of our lives online has just become nothing more than a hobby, career or passion and there is no deeper rooting?

Sharing selfies and what we've eaten for lunch with the internet, is the absolute norm, and, for others, selling merchandise with their faces on and products with their names on is considered just as standard. Some bloggers have managers, writers, accountants, photographers, heck a full team of people behind them. This whole content creation thing wasn't a thing 30 years ago, and who'd have thought even 10 years ago that this would become people's careers? I am in no way shaming this, wouldn't it be incredible for this to be a full-time job - it's definitely something to congratulate. But what is it all based on? Do we continue to blog because we enjoy posting? Or is it more to do with the constant reassurance and compliments, the likes and the comments?...

Is it time we all had a step back from the internet and spent more time in the 'real world?' 
I'd love to hear your opinions on this in the comments
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