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I Thought I Was Becoming a Narcissist But I'm Not

Reina enjoyed writing essays even when she was only a pupil. She works freelance writing web content for various individuals and industries.

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It has been seven years since I signed up to become a writer on HubPages, but I still couldn't figure out my niche. I have no expertise to talk about, and I don't feel knowledgeable enough to share my opinion.

Many times I thought of deactivating this account. I have deleted the previous articles I published because they gave me a guilty feeling. I thought I was becoming conceited.

Do I deserve those accolades? Perhaps my self-esteem is too low because I don't feel proud to show them off. After all, I am just a simple blogger. I even dropped out of college several years ago. Why would anyone want to hear my words?

But something inside tells me that I should keep on writing. It doesn't matter who listens or reads my work. I must get these thoughts out of my head before they could blow my mind. Who knows? I might be able to inspire someone far away.

Finding A Thousand Things To Talk About

After getting myself all fired up to write, the old problem resurfaces. I still have no idea what to write. Even if I used Google Trends, I still don't know my topic. I only know that I will write my opinion.

Opinion about what? I had no clue, but the light bulb lit up in my head. I remember reading about writing prompts. I figured I should get one of them. Several authors use them to beat writer's block.

So I googled essay writing prompts and found this New York Times article giving me a thousand topics to discuss. Talking about a jackpot, I think I found myself a bounty. It would be more than a year's worth of content in my calendar.

Now, let me get started with the first item on the list. It's a topic on technology. Someone had asked a question about the psychological effects of social media. They say it's turning people into narcissists.

Taking the Student Writer's Challenge

Is social media making us more narcissistic? This question bothers me. I felt challenged to write an essay about it. It makes me rethink my purpose for using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Learning Network in the New York Times issued this article in 2016. They have invited students to read a previously published article about the growing narcissism epidemic caused by social media. Students were encouraged to write an essay based on the questions they provided.

Although I am not a student anymore, I am rising to the challenge and will try to answer some of those questions here. I have always enjoyed writing essays since I was still a pupil. It was my favorite part of our periodic exams.

It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time.

— Alexis Ohanian

Do I See Myself Becoming A Narcissist?

While writing this article, I took a glimpse at my Facebook newsfeed. The first thing I saw was the status post of one of my colleagues in church. She was greeting another colleague for her birthday.

I didn't want to react, but I felt my blood rushing when I saw the post. I honestly had a dilemma. Sending my birthday greetings in the comments section seemed superficial, but I didn't want to make those people feel bad. After all, I met them in real life.

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Reality hit me at this moment. I realized that I have some level of narcissism growing within me. I often find myself fixated on gathering likes and heart reactions to my post. I even scolded one of my closest friends.

Indeed, social media feeds our emotions. It awakens our emotional appetite. We cannot get enough of those likes and hearts. We feel hungry for more. I feel anxious about spending too much time on social media.

My NPI Test Score, Narcissistic But Not Vain

A graph of a sample of individuals who took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test.

A graph of a sample of individuals who took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test.

Everyone is comparing lives on social media and wants the perfect body, perfect image, perfect outfit, perfect life - we're striving for this perfection, and it's so unhealthy because there's no such thing as perfection.

— Emily Atack

Can A Social Media Fast Prevent Narcissism?

Narcissism is a psychological disorder. The concept derives from the name of a famous character in Greek mythology. People don't need social media to develop this mental illness.

Everyone needs a little bit of self-love. For some dysfunctional families, they get it from social media. It is a deception. Social media exists only for sharing ideas, thoughts, and information. You can never rely on virtual love.

A social media fast may help prevent narcissism. It is a healthy practice to spend some time off the screen. We know that social media is full of marketers looking to sell their products. All these online advertisements play well with our emotions.

Social media fasting cannot cure a narcissistic personality disorder. You will need to seek professional help for that. But staying away from the emotional triggers can keep a narcissist from causing harm to himself or other people.

I just found this on Facebook and sharing it here because I think it's truly inspiring.

I just found this on Facebook and sharing it here because I think it's truly inspiring.

More Questions Left Unsanswered

I don't want to become the full-blown narcissist mentioned in the New York Times article. I'm working hard to keep my emotions in check, and I'm glad to see my NPI test score. I have always thought I had a narcissistic personality disorder.

There are plenty of questions left to answer in the student writer's challenge, but I will stop at this point. I will have to write an entire essay to answer those questions. I don't feel ready to do so.

I still need to learn more about the matter. As mentioned, I am not an expert in this field. I can only speak of what I know and feel. I may sound a bit dandyish, but I don't want to bloat my ego. Perhaps you could share some advice with me. I'd be delighted to hear it.

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SOURCES:

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Reina Mendoza

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