Miranda Devine (SMH Sep 03) quoted some indicators of our spiralling potential for pervasively narcissistic patterns of behaviour. For example, an ABS survey found that the average Australian woman spends at least 3.5 hours looking at herself in the mirror each week.
Long term psychological study of US college students showed a steep climb in high scores on narcissistic personality traits, from 15% in 1982 to 25% today. In 1950 only 12% of students agreed with the statement “I am an important person”, but by the late 1980s that was 80%.
Devine uses this evidence of an explosion in narcissism to discuss links between poor parenting and generation Y’s epidemic of depression, anxiety & stress disorders; and Malcolm Turnbull’s possible narcissistic personality disorder.
At the risk of making another obvious link, one also wonders about the role of Facebook and dare we say, proliferation of blogs or online journals.
Reports indicate the Facebook fad may have peaked, as ‘members’ and their ‘friends’ realise fortunes are made from their needs, plus privacy concerns and eventually the boredom factor. A mass quitting movement may be under way: Farewell Facebook!
Meantime legal dispute in Sydney between a lawyer employer (President of NSW Law Society) and a sacked employee lawyer sounds a note of caution about sharing oneself with the world. The latter allegedly used Facebook to pursue discrimination claims by accessing ex-workmates through their open Facebook profiles (SMH Sep 10). Charges of harrassment, intimidation, discrimination and victimisation are churning.
In contrast, the world of blogs and online journals can only go from strength to strength. Exercise our brain power, while trying not to let our egos take over. Now that’s a challenge!