On the Road to Self-Absorption and Narcissism

Oh, the horror of narcissism.

Crisis

Remember the dramatic hostage-taking tragedy last August 23, 2010 at the Quirino Grand Stand in Manila? After the twelve-hour standoff between the police and the hostage-taker, after the gunman was “put down”, many of the passersby and even the police themselves posed in front of the tour bus where the hostage-taking was held, and smiled their best smiles and teased the camera.

photo courtesy of https://i2.wp.com/www.phil-islands.com/pics/suvenier.jpg

taking a facebook profile picture

Soiling the honor

What a shameful act! All in the name of having a new Facebook profile picture! These people brought dishonor to our country and aggravated the anger and resentment by other nationalities towards our beloved nation.

They turned the scene of the crime into a tourist spot, which is very ironic considering that tourists died inside a tourist bus held hostage by a renowned Filipino police.

They wanted to make these pictures their profile pictures, sad to say but it’s true. 😦

A similar instance happened in Israel concerning one of its soldiers.

According to the Yahoo News article entitled “On Facebook: Israeli soldier posed with bound Arab” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100816/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians_facebook) , “A former Israeli soldier posted photos on Facebook of herself in uniform smiling beside bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoners, drawing sharp criticism Monday from the Israeli military and Palestinian officials.”

All for a new profile picture

These two cases led me to think that social networking sites (like Facebook) and other forms of new social media can bring about “irrational” behaviors to their users.

These SNS (social networking sites) let users create and publicize their own profiles. Uploading pictures, inviting to events, updating status messages or shout outs, and engaging in conversations are only a few of the activities that can be done. Therein comes a certain compulsive need for most users (me, as a case in point) to always have the latest or coolest photos uploaded on their respective pages. If the photo portrays the user as someone who is very good-looking, he or she is most likely to keep that photo posted. On the other hand, when one sees himself or herself in the photos not looking too good or acquiring negative comments, he or she will almost certainly delete that specific picture.

Narcissism results from obsessive wanting that the self be extolled. To be put on a pedestal is something that is really flattering, and I believe that narcissism and self-absorption stem from this.

Counteract

The Filipino people and police condemn their fellow ordinary citizens and policemen respectively for even having the guts to “smile for the camera” and upload those pictures on the web. It was a really disgraceful act. They violated the code of ethics and the moral standards of humanity. The policemen who were identified in the pictures were given proper sanction. There is no written report or documentation, however, whether the ordinary citizens were penalized, too.

This soiled the name of our beloved country even further. We cannot really put a stop to it because it still depends on the discipline and restraint of the people to be that much self-absorbed. However, we can always remember that if we want to help our nation rise from the ashes, we must be morally upright. We can start by NOT POSING FOR (and posting online) A FACEBOOK PHOTO DURING SENSITIVE EVENTS.

Let me repeat: it is utterly, completely, and absolutely shameful and unethical to do that. We know better. We uphold ethical principles. Kung ayaw mong mabastos, huwag ka ding mang-bastos. I hope the “persecuted” Facebook narcissists have learned their lesson.

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3 Responses to On the Road to Self-Absorption and Narcissism

  1. thehappykimy says:

    It’s so sad that there is such a thing as disaster tourism. I read it in a newspaper article that most people, even foreigners visit disaster sites just to have a photo taken there. This show how apathetic people can be. Just as others are suffering from the calamity they have recently experienced, others consider it as a tourist spot to be visit and be proud of by posting on their profiles.:(

  2. Social media like any other communication medium is merely a channel. It is the content we publish that brings pleasure or disgrace. But if we come to think of it, it is still the same channel that made these messages reach so many people in so little time. Ergo knowing that New Social Media is one of the most efficient mass or targeted communication channels of today’s generation should always make us mindful of any content (in whatever form) we publish online. Recognizing this reality also directs us on how we capitalize on its benefits to attain our (good) objectives. Again, it’s all about how people would use it. 😉

  3. I agree with Kitty. We should be careful of the thing we post on our personal pages. But not only that, I think that we should also be sensitive enough to determine which things should or should not be posted. Before we post something, we should always think if it would harm us in anyway. A simple rant can make you lose your job. A simple tweet can make a country hate you. And for this case, a simple photo could make the world angry at you.

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