Does social media influence adolescents to develop their solid identity?
As much as I want to say my answer to this question is 100% a yes, I do know that social media is not the sole influencer on developing a solid identity as an adolescent. Yes, I do think that Social Media now a days has a huge effect on one’s solid identity BUT I still believe that one’s social relationships and/or peer group has a larger role in developing a solid identity for an adolescent. Adolescents are extremely vulnerable to influence and exploitation. The home environment and one’s parents are very significant for choices and actions of youth. I think that adolescents relationships with one’s parents (both parents), peers and conflict in their life is then related to how one lets social media effect themselves. Peer groups can be both positive and negative as far as influencing an adolescent and I can say the same for social media. Social media can enable contact with friends and decrease feelings of loneliness. They may feel that they do not fit in at school but are then able to finally find someone like them, someone that they connect with, showing them that it’s ok to be who they are or dress how they do. Social Media is all about staying connected! In some cases it allows people to live a double life and be someone who they may not normally be in their day to day life. It’s speeding up the process of maturing and knowledge. A modern 13 year old is practically what a 17 year old would have been a decade ago. It is then taking away innocence and the fun of being a child. Everyone is constantly texting, tweeting or posting a photo on instagram. It’s now so much easier to “be cool” or to “dress cool” that it’s hard to actually find those who are authentic and are doing it to be themselves rather than rip off someone else’s style. Just like anything else social media has it’s risks.
In the long run it is up to the parents to educate their kids about the negative consequences linked with risky behaviors, and the false images often maintained in the media for financial gain. Social Media can not be solely to blame for consumption of alcohol, drugs or the definition of beauty.
Does narcissism come from within or does society cause you to be narcissistic?
For those who are truly narcissistic; it goes deeper than we know. Just like anything else there’s so many opinions on where narcissism comes from; whether it’s from one’s mother spoiling the shit out of their child, adoring them so much that one becomes so conceited and full of themselves that their head gets so big it looks like it’s going to explode. It could be that the mom was a psycho-no-love-giving bitch or from a traumatic event in early adolescents. I agree that narcissism stems from some of these factors, leaving someone unstable or feeling detached. Of course then society comes along and can attach itself onto these already problematic feelings, increasing these issues of hostility or aggressiveness.
Does having narcissistic problems as a child carry with you as you mature?
Back to the last question, I do believe that narcissistic problems stem from one’s childhood. There’s many factors that lead to a healthy development into becoming a mature adult. There’s a need in all of us for love, trust, respect and validation from those we look up to. Positive relationships, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of safety are key into a healthy identity. So many people have all of these unresolved issues that get swept under the rug which are then carried along with them as they mature and even further than that; possibly the rest of their lives. Family dysfunction, abuse, or traumatic experiences is what is causing these deeper issues within oneself, maybe leaving them feeling like they are unworthy, or unsupported. Obviously these things can be overcome and people can find help or help themselves to no longer hold on to these things that are making them miserable. To look at narcissism from the other side; of being conceited, I would say that that would make someone miserable too. No one wants to be around that.