The Internet ‘Narcissism Epidemic’

narcissism 003

‘We are in the midst of a “narcissism epidemic,” concluded psychologists Jean M. Twnege and W. Keith Campbell in their 2009 book. One study they describe showed that among a group of 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to the present…

Evidence for the rise in narcissism continues to come up in research and news. A study
by psychologist Dr. Nathan DeWall and his team
found “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and
hostility in popular music” since the 1980s. Shawn Bergman, an assistant
professor of
organizational psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone,
North Carolina notes that “narcissism levels among millennials are higher than
previous generations.”

Researchers at Western Illinois University measured
two socially disruptive aspects of
narcissistic personalities — grandiose exhibitionism and
entitlement/exploitativeness. Those who had high scores on grandiose
exhibitionism tended to
amass more friends on Facebook. Buffardi and Campbell found a high
correlation between Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) scores and Facebook
. Researchers were able to identify those with high NPI scores by studying their Facebook pages.

Elias Aboujaoude, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford, notes
that our ability tailor the Internet experience
to our every need is making us more narcissistic. He observes, “This
shift from e- to i- in prefixing Internet URLs and naming electronic
gadgets and apps parallels the rise of the self-absorbed online
Narcissus.” He goes on to state that, “As we get accustomed to having
even our most minor needs …
accommodated to this degree, we are growing more needy and more
entitled. In other words, more narcissistic.” ‘ (The Atlantic)

Times Haiku

Haiku Deck

“Whimsy is not a quality we usually associate with computer programs. We tend to think of software in terms of the function it fulfills. For example, a spreadsheet helps us do our work. A game of Tetris provides a means of procrastination. Social media reconnects us with our high school nemeses. But what about computer code that serves no inherent purpose in itself?

This is a Tumblr blog of haikus found within The New York Times. Most of us first encountered haikus in a grade school, when we were taught that they are three-line poems with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second and five on the third. According to the Haiku Society of America, that is not an ironclad rule. A proper haiku should also contain a word that indicates the season, or “kigo,” as well as a juxtaposition of verbal imagery, known as “kireji.” That’s a lot harder to teach an algorithm, though, so we just count syllables like most amateur haiku aficionados do.” (Times Haiku).