Look at me! When children develop they integrate their world with their person. How they’re connected and how they fit into their environment. The parietal lobe is a critical component in this integration. Then children connect to the world through play and attention and this cements the notion that they’re rooted and tethered to reality. That they exist and that they’re seen.
I poop therefore I am. The first time that kids hit the stage is when they control their bowels and enter the arena of the potty-trained. Why? Well, first and foremost is the attention and praise for exerting control. You controlled, you mastered and now a round of applause is in order. The circuitry is cemented. Applause. Clap for baby. Attention. In some that transmutes into clapping for another locus of control. Attraction, sexuality and power with concomitant control. But attractiveness in our evanescent world, where beauty and worth have shelf lives, must also be reminded and reinforced. Prior to social media and the smartphone camera and the immediate posting and uploading of gratification, you were lucky if you had a mirror and a healthy imagination. No more. It’s all here, my friend. Say cheese, all you Kardashians in waiting, wave at the monkey food exhibitionists, we’ve a high tech method to potentiate your incessant need golf approval.
Am I still here? The narcissist requires constant reaffirmation of not only presence but criticality and importance. Narcissism has as other subdirectories: vanity, self-aggrandizement and a pathetic need to be constantly reminded that they’re here and also — in so many cases — attractive, sexy and the elusive hot. Enter social media and the selfie. The go-to source for reaffirmation and a reminder that you’re still here. You never disappeared. Say cheese.
Psychology professor Jean Twenge noted in “It’s a Narcissism Enabler” notes the following.
In sum: Narcissism clearly leads to more social media use, social media use leads to positive self-views, and people who need a self-esteem boost turn to social media. It is less clear whether social media directly causes narcissism, at least in the short term. With narcissists having more friends and posting more frequently, however, social media sites are clearly influenced by those high in narcissism at a rate higher than their fair share. And that’s just the way they like it.