How Twitter can teach you about narcissism

Browsing the interwebs one day I came across an image:

So, with those words of wisdom, ringing in your eyes, let’s delve into the murky world of the narcissistic.


Narcissism, a noun, defined as an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.  In the field of psychology; extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

There is even an officially described “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” Quote.

Individuals with this disorder exhibit a lack of ability to empathize with others and an inflated sense of self-importance.

Definition
The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.

People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat, and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection. […]

Symptoms
Narcissistic personality disorder is indicated by five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Exaggerates own importance
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance
  • Believes he or she is special and can only be understood by other special people or institutions
  • Requires constant attention and admiration from others
  • Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
  • Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
  • Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
  • Is often envious of others or believes other people are envious of him or her
  • Shows arrogant behaviors and attitudes

Causes
Causes of narcissistic personality disorder are not yet well-understood. Genetic and biological factors as well as environment and early life experiences are all thought to play a role in the development of this condition.

Treatments
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging because people with this condition present with a great deal of grandiosity and defensiveness, which makes it difficult for them to acknowledge problems and vulnerabilities. End of quote.

Where does Twitter fit in, then?

Twitter users can use a ‘Pinned Tweet’ to ensure that it is always on their Twitter feed home screen so that anybody wanting to see the person’s tweets must see this tweet first.  The uses of the pinned tweet are many and varied, usually to ensure that something of the utmost importance to the tweeter is prominently displayed and not forgotten by their Twitter followers, of which there could be 9000 or more.

They may pin a tweet which has a saying by someone that really appeals to the tweeter as all-wise and profound. It could be something someone said in Parliament, for example; maybe in a maiden speech. Some wisdom that they feel would benefit any visitor to their Twitter feed.  In extreme cases, it could be something that they personally said, regardless of whether the quote actually makes any sense at all.  In the eyes of such a tweeter, it may be considered that the profundity of the words would only be understood by other special people, not normal folk.   To make it even more important, the statement could be officially authorised by some important entity.

Or it may be an image of something that, in the mind of the tweeter, is so breathtakingly spectacular that the tweeter feels it should be shared with the twitterati as an example of all that is good and beautiful in the world.

In extreme cases, it could be a combination of both, the ‘profound’ quote superimposed on the ‘wonderful’ image.

A pinned tweet is a strong statement about the tweeter and the longer it stays as their pinned tweet, the more important the tweeter considers its content to be.  In the fast-moving world of Twitter, seven months is a long time.

 


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

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