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Are Bloggers Narcissists?

I was pondering Nick Wilson’s post “Call for Performancing Authors”. I had not really thought about posting on this blog account, but I guess it is as good as any! I do most of my blogging elsewhere.

Among other things, I have been using Squidoo (which is a site that makes it easy to collect infomation that you think might be useful to others). About a week or so ago, I posted one of my Squidoo lenses to digg. I actually got a comment back! Apart from bad grammar and spelling, he basically said that it was mainly a self-serving site used to promote my own interests.

It hit me. Isn’t that what most blogs are? When it comes down to it, most blogs have sometype of self serving or self promoting interest. The company does it to inform and get customers; the politician to get the word out, etc. Even the more diary oriented ones or those that are informative are still being done to promote something — if for nothing else than inflating the blogger’s ego. I do it for a number of reasons, keeping customers up to date, floating ideas, creating a Squidoo lens to highlight kids’ cancer because of someone I know.

I do not like to think that I am a narcissist, but at some level I guess I am.

Don’t get me wrong…I think they are very useful and I have way too many blogs of others that I try to track, but I also do mine because I want to (at some level) be validated.

Thoughts?

(Side Note: I really like Performancing, most of my posts are done using it!)

Author: Chris Berry

10 thoughts on “Are Bloggers Narcissists?

  1. I like the soapbox idea. Bloggers have an opinion and aren’t afraid of the repercussions of expressing that idea. Give me editorials! Give me opinions! Let’s have a debate about it!

    Some blogs are about a topic and, for some blogs, the author IS the topic. Call it narcissistic or any other label you care to attach. If the author is interesting, it doesn’t matter.

    Anne Walk

  2. The guy couldn’t spell and he had bad grammar. No wonder he wanted to insult your blogging effort. Probably knows he couldn’t make one fly himself so he bites other people who can.

    I doubt a narcissist would keep a blog anyway. He would expect someone else to journal his every thought and deed out of respect and admiration for his superior intellect and Adonis like body. 🙂

    Bloggers aren’t that far over the edge….yet

  3. I had one other thought about this. Although I think many bloggers are narcissisitic, I think that’s it’s quite likely they most of them are only that way *in this medium*. In real life, I expect many of them are not so ‘and another thing about me’. When you’re at a party, and you do that, people walk away from you. Folks quickly learn that they best be shuttin up about themselves so much. (yes, I’m saying that people who are self-centered tend to be the narcissists, kinda the same boat). In the protected world of the internet, people who are uninterested don’t comment. You don’t get that particular kind of feedback. Of course, you gotta deal with the haters, and thicken your skin to those types, but that’s a different battle.

    So, in a way, blogs are narcissist enablers. They help bring out your ‘inner narcissist’. Maybe in time, we will all succumb to the pressure. Absolute blogging corrupts narcissisticly absolutely, or something. :/

  4. Good blogging always occurs when we are passionate about something. When passionate about an issue or topic people will always view it from a point of view that makes them happiest and will try to get others to do the same.

    Name any blogger that isn’t narcissistic – or any journalist for that matter.

  5. Obviously (or not so obviously 😉 ) I was trying to get a little debate going. Funny how people seem to agree with the basic premise. Most of us are somewhere between self worth and self love. Personally, I find my self alternating between wanting to creating useful ideas, concepts, etc. and watching my blog(s) go up some ranking. (Believe me I rank pretty low on most of them most of the time!)

    I think that people are trying gain meaning. Whatever that means for them. It might be making money, providing a service, talking about one’s experience to gain understanding or to help others, etc. It can be a bit of a slippery slope, but I think we all do it to try to create an environment that hopefully satisfies us in one way or another.

  6. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

    Narcissism is the pattern of characteristics and behaviors which involve infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition.

    In everyday use outside the field of psychology, the word generally refers to people who just are inordinately fond of themselves, without the pathological connotations.

    As a generalization, I disagree with characterizing bloggers as narcissists, either in the pathological sense or in the less derogatory sense of inordinate (excessive; beyond normal limits).

    Yes, many generalizations have their exceptions. I’ve no doubt that ‘some’ bloggers are narcissistic. In my otherwise unscientifically based opinion, I don’t think most are, nor would I venture to guess that even half are.

    I think many, if not most, of us are simply people with a passion. People who have found the courage to publicize our passions for all the world to see (thanks to the mighty Internet!).

    I suggest a more accurate and friendly label (would anyone ever object to being labelled more accurately and in a friendlier manner? I hope not!) to associate with bloggers might be ‘communicators’ or, in a more colloquial sense, ‘folks with a soapbox who aren’t afraid to stand upon it and speak their minds’.

    That said, let each of us again reach for our keyboards and communicate now!

    (note: I was grinnin’ big when I wrote that last line; it’s a friendly exhortation rather than a stern admonishment).

  7. many bloggers are narcissists. some aren’t, but when I think of ‘blogger’, I tend to associate the term narcissist to them. it’s all about what’s front and center. for a blogger to not be narcissist would mean that I wouldn’t know anything about the author’s opinion. i might not even know who the author is. if they author believes the information is important, puts it out there, doesn’t ‘editorialize’, then he’s a different animal from the norm. the other kind of blogger, the kind that injects himself into his words, well, we know what he is. and he’s far from alone out there.

    being a narcissist isn’t all bad. if you can still draw me in and keep me there, I’ll disregard it. but it gets old fast when the author isn’t up to that task. all you’re left with is the ‘me’ stuff. the best of bloggers have their bad moments, where is sounds like they’re shilling themselves. the good ones catch themselves.

    it’s kind of like celebrities. if you’re famous because you’re a great actor*, fine. you might be a narcissist, but it’s ok, cuz we enjoy your movies and plays. if you’re famous because your famous, all we have is your ‘me’. how interesting is that, Paris Hilton?

    *substitute actor with anything, like singer, athelete, etc.

    so every blogger should ask themselves. is the scale of ‘me’ versus ‘my content’ balanced the right way? kick yourself in the ice if it’s not, and get back in focus baby!

  8. Tony Robbins reckons that our deepest motivations all boil down to two fundamental fears:

    1) Not being enough, and
    2) Not being admired / loved

    I agree with him and where you see in an individual extreme effort towards a particular objective, it usually can be attributed to a fundamental motivation to either ‘be enough’ or ‘be admired’ to address these fears.

    Great post.

  9. Yes we are narcissistic at heart. After all the internet is a place to toot our bugle, right?

    This is a time of UGC and Authentic Media. The Internet has shifted from individual news ‘sources’ to distributed news ‘channels’. It is all about ‘our content’ and ‘our ideas’… Calling ourselves narcissistic over that is like saying eating is harmful since it can make you fat!

    Which is true if you overeat. Get the drift?

    There was a time when narcissism was a sin and you paid for it. Now, narcissism is still a sin – but you GET paid for it. Funny, eh?

    (Side note about PFF:
    PFF has helped me maintain my sanity – and my blogs. I have setup three blogs, so when I post a blog I do so directly to all three at once.

    Regards,
    Shri.

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