Beyond personal branding, Dunbar’s number and the mobile phone pictures of the crème brule you ate last night lies the realm of the new social media narcissist. It seems we’ve entered a new age of narcissism—where blatant self-promotion on social media sites has become standard behavior. Psychologist, Mike Leary argues that social sites, like Facebook provide opportunities for well-adjusted people to unleash their inner narcissist. Leary notes that “[Facebook] is a self-presentational vehicle. It's a little bit like advertising.”
Ironically, this trend comes at a time when brands are attempting to evolve to a more human, engaged and caring tone within the realm of social media. Certainly everyone has a reason for partaking in social media; whether it’s to promote a personal or profitable brand, to stay connected to friends and family or simply remind the world how awesome you are.
Maybe it is time ordinary people take a different cue from brands and work on figuring out how to be more, well, human?
Photo from State Library of New South Wales, via Flickr. Blog post contributed to by Cassandra Morello, Gigantic Intern.