Do Not Confuse Activity With Achievement.” ~John Wooden

Are we becoming a more self-centered, narcissistic, and uncompassionate society? Technology is great, but is it doing more harm than good? People are more connected than ever, but are we really connected? Have we transformed into a society that is “all about me?” This week we’ll discuss these topics and more as they relate to social media..

I love technology and social media. They’ve become essential to my job as a teacher and coach. However, I am beginning to wonder about some of the effects the two are having on society. Have you ever been out in public and noticed how much more withdrawn people seem these days? If they’re not plugged into their iPod listening to music, their face is down scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, or Twitter. We have to do more to educate today’s youth and young adults on how to properly use these tools. They have predominately grown up in an age where this technology has been present and rapidly advancing. But I believe it is causing society to become more narcissistic, uncompassionate, and socially awkward.

Another issue with society today is that people want an award for everything. This relates to and is overwhelmingly present in the sports world. We are raising a “trophy generation.” (Here are my thoughts on The Trophy Generation from a previous post). In today’s world people want a raise, promotion, or award for simply doing what they are supposed to do. Activity is very much confused with achievement. Whatever happened to working hard and being proud of your work? Because of the ill effects technology and social media are having people crave attention. They need to feel important and validated through some type of public recognition. This will often result in a “selfie” post that aims to come off as “humble brag” but comes off much worse to the majority of the audience who sees it.

Our parents and grandparents didn’t need to receive an honor, recognition, or an award for simply doing their job. They did it to the best ability and took pride in it. That was enough. But today we have to be the star in our own world.  We want medals for simply waking up, going to work, and putting in a days work. We have become entitled. Society would be a better place if more people took this quote to heart, “Don’t worry about when you are not recognized, but strive to worthy of recognition.”

When using social media we should follow the rule, “think twice, post once.” Think about who the audience is and why you are posting it. If it’s for entertainment or education, great I’m all for it. If it’s to get attention or fish for compliments, just realize what the majority of viewers are saying about it without commenting online. Your friends don’t need a play-by-play series of posts on how your day went, what you did at the gym, or what you had for every meal.

I believe the world is a good place, and it’s full of more good than bad. However, if we don’t realize and correct the societal and personality issues the use and misuse of social media is causing, we will continue to become more narcissistic and uncompassionate. I worry about our youth and what type of personalities they will have if they continue to grow up in this online culture.

Here’s a link to an interesting study that was recently completed on the posting of selfies.

What’s your take? Do you think social media is making society more narcissistic? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


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