social media and narcissism
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Catchy title, huh?  In the age of “look at me” finding balance in self promotion is challenginging for many, me included. We live in a time when the tools to become autonomous PR agencies are as accessible and irresistible as my once cherished four tiered, 64 piece box of Crayola crayons.  And when social media can play such a vital role in helping to build our businesses and follow passions and dreams, just how do we find balance?

Narcissus, the mythical Greek hunter known for his beauty once had no interest in matters of appearance, yet once he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a wading pool he fell in love with his own image.  Unable to leave, he lost his will to live.

Two people simultaneously post an image of themselves.  To the first, a positive reaction: “Awesome, look at that hard earned progress!”  To the second, an opposite response: “Another vanity needy can you get!”  So just what is it that allows self promotion to be tasteful and welcomed by some and irritating by others? 

For me, the answer lies in three areas. Content, context and intention.

Some of what makes for more postworthy and successful self promotion has to do with whether the image is supported by one or more of the following attributes:  Information, inspiration, artistry and humor.

I am far more likely to see the true beauty within an image or at least welcome it onto my screen if the overall context or intent of the post is to educate, inspire, inform or bring levity.  In fact, make me laugh and I’m yours for life! From creative content on Facebook, (still a staple to the mature set) to the rapid fire laugh-track of Tik Tok, humor is king!  As for stationary vanity shots, this recent commentary about sums it up: “Without working on your character or inner beauty, it’s basically just a matter of, congratulations on your face!”  

Sure, when it comes to those we admire, those who have reached some level of notoriety for good reason, we want to see what they’re up to pretty often. The more vivid the photo, the better!  Yet few have that level of well-earned notoriety.

Perhaps others truly enjoy seeing a steady stream of glamour-vanity photos devoid of content other than the unwritten subtext, “Don’t I look good in this pic?”  I can accept that if that is what interests you.  Perhaps it’s my vintage that causes discomfort. Or maybe my own vanity. (You spot it, you got it!) It certainly doesn’t offend me, yet at some point an oversaturation of even my favorite desserts makes me queasy.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that body image is a vital part of health and fitness industry and that personal progress in one’s fitness and appearance is something to be proud of.  That is not the focus of this commentary, however.  Here, the focus is excessive vanity and how to post effectively without turning folks off.

So, has vanity become not only fashionable but acceptable?  Should we succumb to this new normal?  I’m guessing you know my answer to that one.  But on a more hopeful , constructive note, I’m thrilled with the more recent social media trend for comedy! My sincere thanks to all who put thought and care into content when posting.  It makes a big difference to this grateful follower