I wonder if we all have some form of narcissism in us. Narcissism in its very crude sense self-grandioso.
I sat next to a young girl on the way back from Shanghai. Her fingers in my peripheral vision bothered me, because it kept swiping and tapping on the phone like no tomorrow. I glanced over and got sucked into looking at what she was doing. She was going between apps, checking out others’ photos, and checking out comments on her own page.
I recognized her as being part of the group of young girls parading the airport as I checked-in. They had photographers and video-recording people swarming them. I could not understand if they were famous or what, but I did notice they all had similar make up and hair styling on. And it was as if every lift of a hair was worth shooting.
Eventually, I figured out that they were one of those live streaming celebrity girls, and so it then made sense that the girl next to me was responding with virtual kisses and hugs to the chicken legs and green dresses that her followers had sent her via cyberspace. But if they were so famous and making so much money from this, why are they sitting in Economy class with me?
Influencers, they are called, or was it Key Opinion Leaders, or Celebrities? Not sure what they are influencing, though in some ways I respect them for mobilizing huge numbers in the population to tune into livestreams of their mundane supermarket shopping experience. At least they have some influence. The girl sitting next to me had 837 followers on one platform – that’s 320 more than my Facebook page followers. Kudos to her, and her blatant self-indulgence for the number of selfies she can take in one second.
The mass of these girls, their make up sheered with pink lipstick of different shades, is a epitomized juxtaposition of independent thought and discernment.
I do not think these girls are narcissistic, but rather, simplistic. The narcissism lies in my self-proclaimed deity in thought, as if I was above them and wiser. Does my narcissism transpire through this blog post, the fact that I think I am right, better, and more superior than the mediocrity? An illusion that perhaps, I might be leading some sort of thought?
I imagine that most thought-leaders would have some degree of narcissism, a confidence and ego that they knew better and thus bestowed upon them, some obligation to help the plebs understand, or that deliverance would be promised if one follows. Some narcissism, seems essential to changing something in the world, a naïve belief that our thoughts and conviction would improve the state of humankind through a pursuit and search for truth, a deep dive into one small subject matter as expertise.
The question, is therefore, what do we do with the narcissism we all have inside of us?
Do we indulge in making sure our content goes viral buying up followers through “click farms” that makes WeChat relevant? Or can I be content that someone whom I had never met, wrote me an email, generous enough to share me with his thoughts about my book…?
I have been told though, that my narcissism is acceptable, because I was an elegant one, who wears green suede heels…