Y’all. 25 percent is not a small increase. That’s a straight personality shift in a very short period of time — and all as a side effect of posting pictures.
It’s not exactly a mystery how this happens. The “likes” and comments on Facebook activate the pleasure centers of our brains, giving us a rush of endorphins that create a positive feedback loop: you post a selfie, get likes, feel happy, so you post another selfie, get more likes, etc.
Interestingly enough, although I was aware of an increase in narcissistic tendencies during my brief selfie-blitz, what I was more aware of was how miserable I felt most of the time. Flipping through Facebook to compare yourself to other people is 100 percent guaranteed to make you feel terrible. I knew this — I have, in fact, known this for years — and I yet I still let myself get sucked back into it.
Thank goodness for my snoopy 13-year-old, who pulled me right out of the social media spiral. That moment was like a shock of cold water — it pulled me out of my weird descent into a narcissism and despair by reminding me that, hey, it’s totally messed up to stalk yourself on social media.
I cut back on the selfies and on the scrolling, and began to use my Facebook time more intentionally and efficiently — less scrolling, more in-and-out posts for a purpose — and it helped me regain a sense of balance and step back from creeping narcissism. As an added bonus, I now have an effective weapon to use against my daughter when the time comes for her to take her own trip into social media narcissism — her own words.