As the popularity of social media increases exponentially, so does the self-focused society of narcissists it seems to be producing. People post what they are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner as it they truly believe their audience is eagerly awaiting that information. Honestly, do you really care if a person you know on Facebook, but may never actually meet in person, just had a Caramel Latte from Starbucks before getting a pedicure?
Posting on social media makes people feel important, like a movie star or royalty. Suddenly, they believe everyone wants to know what they are having for dinner or where they went for lunch again today. I don’t know how many times I have read posts about what people are cooking for dinner. Unless it is a special occasion or your name is Gordon Ramsey, most people probably don’t care what you are cooking right now. These same people usually tend to post what they are doing every minute of the day, and a few even post their sex lives complete with a rundown of their partner’s performance in that area.
When it comes to posting on social media, you have two extremes: people who overshare and people who never share. Most people fall into the middle, where they share things they believe are relevant, funny anecdotes, well-wishes and holiday greetings, occasional rants, etc. However, when it comes to the people who overshare, they truly share every moment of their lives. They seem to live for their status updates and tweets. In many cases, it is because they are actually insecure, so convincing themselves that everyone is anxious to know what they are doing at every second makes them feel important.
I think the aspect of this epidemic of vanity that is most perplexing, and somewhat amusing, is the romantic and personal dialogue. Now, I am not referring to the people who post I love you, happy birthday, get well soon, etc. to people who are hundreds of miles away. I am talking about the people who post sweet comments to people who are not even on Facebook, knowing they will never see it anyway. Or…and this is the one that really makes me shake my head, the people who post sweet love talk statements of devotion to their significant other or spouse, rather than simply looking across the room and saying it directly. I am not talking about the sweet memes, cute images, special occasion messages, or rare moment of mushiness that people post to their loved one’s wall. We have all done that. I am talking about the love letter type of dialogue, and even the “goodnight sweetheart” that people post to someone in the same house as them.
Seriously, what is the purpose of pouring out your undying love on your status, rather than looking into their eyes and saying it to them directly. I know a few people that are always posting love notes on social media, and their spouse is in the same room with them. Let’s face it, when people do this, they aren’t saying it for the recipient, they are saying it to get attention from the audience. What happened to looking into your lover’s eyes, and saying “I love you” directly? What happened to true intimacy in a relationship?
If a person is posting sweet love letter messages, or using the public aspect of social media (versus in person or private messaging) to tell the one they love how they feel, they are not doing it for the person they love. They are doing it for their own rapidly inflating ego. They want the attention and accolade from the crowd. They want the “likes” and praise. They want people to believe they have the greatest love story on earth, and they want everyone to wish they had the same type of relationship. They want women to look at their husbands and get upset because he never says amazing things like that to her. Sometimes they post it in the hopes that they ex will see it and get upset, which is a whole other can of worms. The real reason they post things like that on Facebook is to get attention and feed their own narcissism and insecurity. Sadly, they lack the happiness of true intimacy and don’t even realize it.
In truth, I would rather have someone who looks into my eyes and pulls me tight, before whispering those sweet words that I can hold in my heart. I don’t need the entire world to wish they had what I had, because I don’t need their approval. I don’t wish people Happy Birthday on Facebook when they don’t even have an account, I call them. I prefer having true intimacy in a relationship, and find it sad that the world is becoming so vain they are losing the ability to form real connections with people.