Sunday, July 19, 2009

Does technology make us narcissists?

Computerworld asks "Does mobile tech breed narcissism?". According to the article technology makes it more and more possible to interact only with the people we like. Think of people talking on their mobile to some friend while ignoring those around them. The article quotes a research according to which yearly tests among fresh students has shown a steady increase in narcissism. It also believes that narcissism is an explanation why the young generation doesn't like Twitter: on Twitter anyone can react to your messages. The young generation prefers Facebook where only the only friends can react - and if someone is not nice enough you can throw him out. As a consequence nearly all reaction on Facebook are - often very - positive.

When reading the article it is good to remember that "increasing narcissism" can also be explained by the rise of individualism. It is caused by smaller families, urbanization, higher education that makes people pay attention to books instead of each other, longer travel times to work, people moving from one place to the other - cutting of their local ties, social security - that makes us less dependent on each other, psychology - that sets individual instead of social happiness central, etc.

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