Sunday, January 4, 2009

Narcissistic shrines on the web

Posted by Alei at 1/04/2009


I would like to share this article I have read from Manila Bulletin.


The evil that is social networking sites


Czarina Nicole O. Ong

Poor Narcissus. All he ever did was love. Love himself, that is. Narcissus loved himself so much, that when he saw his own reflection in a pool, he tried to kiss it and unfortunately drowned in the process.


No one is foolish enough to follow his example. Sure, people love to bask in their own limelight once in a while, but nobody would go as far as kissing their own reflection (literally, that is). But today, the big three W’s have sites popping up that encourage the narcissistic or the "love me" complex. They call them social networking sites, but calling them narcissistic complex sites would have been more apt.


How it all started


Deemed as the pioneer of all social networking sites in the Philippines, Friendster was first launched in 2002 and currently has over 85 million members, the majority of which are from Southeast Asia. Friendster’s VP for global marketing David Jones even says, "The biggest percentage of users is from the Philippines, clocking in with 39% of the site’s traffic."


Friendster’s appeal to Filipinos is phenomenal, and is soon followed by Multiply and Facebook. Each site is unique, boasting of features different from that of its counterparts. Testimonials are exclusive to Friendster, writing reviews are Multiply’s forte, while Superpoke and Mob Wars are Facebook’s babies.


These sites have been used not only as dating sites or friend finders, but also as a hub for trade and business. Multiply, especially, boasts of thousands of entrepreneurs, selling items ranging from clothes, accessories, and shoes to gadgets and cameras.


Clearly, people have found how to maximize the use of these sites. But human nature, being the predictable devil that it is, has also found a way to destroy it.


The bad side of the network


People would not be content with just browsing and posting pictures. The Pandora in every one (not just the girls) simply has to check other profiles too. And if one chances upon a better site, or just one which boasts of better pictures, then the seed of insecurity has been planted.


Because of this insecurity, people will go out of their wits’ end trying to upstage one another. This encourages the Narcissus in all of us. The more friends we have, or the better we look in our profiles pictures, then the more fabulous we are. That’s why a lot of people invest so much time and effort in beautifying their sites, sometimes neglecting their physical needs because of it. These sites then become subtle tools in telling the world, "Look at me! Love me! Envy me!"


But this isn’t supposed to be. The idea behind these sites is actually inspiring. Getting people to bond and discover more about each other through a single website is mind-boggling. But the idea has been abused; in fact, it has been distorted. And because of this distortion, what was supposed to have been another one of mankind’s greatest inventions is transformed into a disturbing, self-absorbed, and spite-inducing hub. If he were born today, Narcissus wouldn’t have merely drowned in a pool. In fact, he would have simply died of starvation while sitting on his computer chair, waiting for his thousands of pictures to be uploaded.


source Manila Bulletin

Very true isn't? Well then, are you Narcissistic?


2 comments on "Narcissistic shrines on the web"

Pastilan on Wed Jan 07, 01:36:00 AM 2009 said...

I got tired of Friendster a long time ago. It is passe.

khel said...

I know some friends who are very addicted to tweaking their profiles every now and then just to create a good impression

 

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