It is difficult not to think of narcissism when thinking about Twitter, after all, it is filled with people answering the question: “What are you doing?”. It almost forces us to look at ourselves. According to the OED, one meaning of narcissism is:
2. Psychol. The condition of gaining emotional or erotic gratification from self-contemplation, sometimes regarded as a stage in the normal psychological development of children which may be reverted to in adulthood during mental illness.
Such a definition would seem to equally apply to Twitter. Whilst I’m not aware of anyone who gets ‘erotic gratification’ from Twitter, I’d think that there are plenty of them joining the majority who gain the emotional gratification. Why else are people there if they are not getting some sort of emotional gratification?
Shouldn’t most of the people on Twitter have outgrown the emotional gratification of self-contemplation by now? If we continue to consider narcissism a mental illness shouldn’t the government be shutting Twitter down before it sucks more people in? Or is it just too late as Gordon and Obama join us in enjoying picking fluff from our respective navels?
…off to ‘Tweet’ this…mmmm….emotional gratification of self-contemplation….