Narcissistic Social Media: 10 Ways to Avoid the Trap [Infographic]
The social media narcissist: You know whom I'm talking about. It's the girl who posts a selfie at every restaurant; the guy who can't stop showing off his workout videos and pictures; the company who only wants to talk about itself. The narcissist is everywhere, and social media is the perfect platform to let your self-loving nature shine. But narcissism is not going to get you the results you're looking for. To avoid the deadly trap of screaming your name from every rooftop, ask yourself these questions:
1. Would anyone but my mom care?
Before you post that adorable picture of your kid puking on himself. Before you tell the whole world what you ate for lunch. And before you complain about bad traffic or long work days. Carefully consider whether anyone beyond your mom, dad, sibling, spouse, child, or best friend would want to know. If the answer is no, send it in a text. Hell, make it a group text.
2. Does this provide value to anyone but me?
You might think that everyone wants to know that you're at the beach while they're at work, but they don't. Instead, make sure every post gives something back to the social media community. If you're working out at the beach and you're a body coach, that's an inspiring post. Or if your company sells beach products and you're showing them in action, a beach shot is great. A braggart doesn't keep people coming back.
3. Why would someone read my post?
Seriously pause before each post and ask yourself, "Why would I read this?" Is it funny? Are you announcing something important that people would love to hear about? Does your post focus on a common issue and provide unique insight or commiseration? If you can give a reason to read the post beyond, "It's about me," then post away.
4. Am I in the picture? My feet? My food? My hands?
The selfie. It's not the best side of social media. More than any other post type, the selfie feeds our narcissistic needs and is a cry for attention. All selfies have a time and a place. The Ellen DeGeneres selfie at the Oscars was well done and captured a moment in time. But unless your selfie reveals something special, take it old school and take pictures of people and things other than yourself.
5. Is this a desperate bid for likes?
Don't be a click bait magnet. Don't be the desperate person who will post anything and everything to get likes and comments. It won't last, and it won't get you anywhere. Provide content that answers questions 2 and 3 and not content that solely aims at getting more likes than the guy next to you. In the end, likes don't mean anything.
6. Am I just joining a trend or am I making a trend?
When Ellen did the Oscar selfie, she started a trend. Her picture was great. The millions of pictures that copied her work got old quickly. Trends are short periods of time where something is cool. You have to jump on early if you want the trend to work for you. If you're late and only joining a trend because you think you'll gain extra "cool points," you're going to be surprised to find the opposite reaction.
7. Would I click like if someone else posted this?
For a minute, take away your narcissistic-loving-self and look at your post from the perspective of a stranger or acquaintance. If you saw the exact content on a stranger's wall would you read it, like it, retweet it, or comment on it? If your food picture showed up on someone else's social media would make you say, "Yay, great! You ate food." If the answer is "no," then do us all a favor and don't post it.
8. Do I come across as insecure, needy, or overly self-promotional?
Don't beg. Yes, it's a proven statistic that writing "Please Retweet" or "Like this if" work well. However, overusing these requests will start scaring social media users away and not bring more to the party. Just imagine those late night infomercials. There's a reason they are only on TV after midnight. Don't be the social media user that says, "But wait! There's more. If you order now..."
9. Does my post link to someone beyond myself?
If you're promoting or giving props to someone else beyond yourself, you've smacked down your inner narcissist, and you can rejoice. Even if you're giving a little love to yourself at the same time, that's okay. It's not all "Me, myself, and I" there's a little bit of "him, her, and you" too.
10. Are you trying to make someone else jealous?
Let's be honest, there's a reason social media is filled with pictures of vacations, good news, and thrilling announcements. No one wants to share the bad things publicly. But if the only reason you're about to share your content is to make everyone else say, "How cool is she? I want to be her!" please reconsider. While making everyone else jealous can have its place. You've fallen off the narcissistic deep-end, and you may never come back.
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