Well, it finally happened last week: I became a narcissist.
I’m not sure if it happened all at once or just gradually crept in over time. I’ve never thought of myself as a self-occupied kind of person. As I sat at my keyboard last Monday night, though, I realized I was three-quarters of the way into a blog post that had no real reason to exist other than to get people to visit the site you’re on right now (Isn’t it ironic? Don’t ya think?).
I wanted to think I was just following up a post I thought was pretty good from the day before (which can be found here, wink, wink). You know, generating traffic, building readership, providing enlightenment for the masses, etc., etc. After struggling through a few paragraphs, though, it became clear to me I was uncovering another uncomfortable truth about myself…
I really, really want you to like me.
When I first hopped on the Facebook bandwagon a few years ago, I was racking up “friends” like you wouldn’t believe. I mean, if you and I had even exchanged glances at the local Walmart, you were getting a request to add me. Even before the days of social media, though, I craved the praise of others. The internet has just sped up my journey toward being completely self-absorbed.
I’m making some of these statements tongue-in-cheek, but there is an element of truth to them as well. I’ve noticed lately I’ve been keeping a closer eye on my “likes” and checking in on the WordPress dashboard every morning to see how tall those little blue bars are. I still don’t get Twitter, but I always get a good feeling when someone acknowledges one of my tweets somehow. Sometimes it’s as if I’m building my own little cult of personality … and that is not a good thing.
I’ve noticed something else lately, too: Many of my social media friends seem to be posting less and less these days. They’re not talking so much about how they went to the grocery store or taking so many pictures of the food they’re eating or shouting as much about political matters. This kind of made me sad for a while, but then it hit me that maybe they all were starting to feel the same way I did Monday night. Maybe we were all getting tired of talking about ourselves.
So my lesson learned here is there is a fine line between self-promotion and just blatantly grabbing for attention. I dislike the idea of this space becoming my barometer for how popular I am or how well I write. I want to contribute something or help someone or make people think about things in a different way. That might sound too lofty for a little ol’ blog on the internet, but it’s the truth. Positive affirmation is great, but it doesn’t need to be the sole goal.
If you’d like to comment on any of this, though, I’m sure I’ll be checking WordPress every few minutes or so today to see how many views this post has gotten. At least I’ll be able to respond to you fairly quickly…