Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blogs and Narcissism

Over the last week or so, I've been thinking a lot about things that have been said here about me. Mostly, I've been thinking about the accusation that I'm, as a recent commenter called me, the "prototypical narcissist."

The whole idea behind egoism and narcissism is, at it's most basic level, an inflated idea of ones own importance. Narcissism is defined, literally, as "extreme self-love." The problem with blogs is that they make everyone who has one appear narcissistic. The very act of putting your words out there for the world to see as if to say, "Look at me! See what I have to say!" seems, on the surface, to be a profound act of narcissism.

However, I have since discovered that this is simply an illusion created by the nature of the blog itself. In fact, I have found quite the opposite: many people who have blogs actually have a lower sense of self esteem than the average.

That's not a blanket condemnation of bloggers, by any means. Not at all. Doubt is Human. We're all filled with doubts. The thing about blogs, though, is that we have a tendency to hide these doubts about ourselves from the public eye. As a result, blogs tend to have this seemingly narcissistic bias simply because, on our blogs, we hide our doubts which, in turn, makes us seem like we believe we're right all the time and never doubt a thing we do.

That's probably why so many self-doubting people have blogs. A blog creates the illusion that one is more important than they really are, and that can be a profoundly comforting illusion for those who have no love for, or confidence in, themselves. These people want, even need, to create that illusion of unwavering certainty.

In fact, that is what blogs are for a lot of people. People use them to crystallize their thoughts and solidify their choices in life. By definition, the act of writing on a blog will eliminate all the uncertainties because one is using the blog for the very purpose of eliminating doubt. But it's all illusion, of course. The doubt always remains in one's soul.

A blog is not a mirror of one's soul. It's a painting. A mirror can only reflect back exactly what's in front of it. In a painting, one can eliminate imperfections and blemishes, leaving only the best, most beautiful parts on the canvas for everyone to see. That's what a blog is. It's your best, most certain thoughts with all the doubt removed. That's why blogs can make even the most self-doubting person seem confident to the point of egoism.

So, I submit a rather strange idea: the more one blogs, the more uncertain about oneself, and therefore the less narcissistic, one truly is.

I guess that's why I didn't blog much before. I was much more certain of myself back then. I didn't feel the need to blog. I knew who I was. I knew I mattered. I didn't need a blog to tell me that. Now, I'm lost in confusion. Narcissistic? Not even close. The very foundations of my beliefs about love and loyalty have been shaken. I'm not certain about anything anymore. Not about myself. Not about my worth. Not about love. Not about friendship.

Not about life.

Lately, I've just felt like I'm just going through the motions of life without any real passion or spark. The only thing that's brought my ANY happiness recently is finally being able to go for bike rides with Lisa, thanks to the Wike Special Needs Trailer. It's nice to have her with me when I'm riding, and it makes me feel good to make her happy... but, at the end of the day, I still have to wonder: what does it all mean?

I used to believe we must have a higher purpose. That our reality now is part, an important part, of a reality beyond what we perceive now as reality. I'm no longer so certain. The more I think about it, the more I wonder: do any of us really mean anything, or is it all just futile? Does anything we do in life really matter in the grand scheme of the universe?

I'm not the first person to have these thoughts, and I won't be the last... but I used to have enough confidence in myself to at least maintain the faith that there must be more to life than what I perceive around me. The faith that we matter. The faith that I matter.

Now... I just don't know.

Narcissistic? Right now, I'm not sure I even like myself, much less love myself.

On September 2, 2007 9:14:33 PM ADT, Jan wrote:
[N]o i [sic] do not read the ramblings of an idiot . . .
Obviously, you do. You're still commenting, even after nearly a month of inactivity here.

And you call me the idiot... :P

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:14 PM

    Gee, could we be so lucky that you have finally stopped your ridiculous blog?
    And no i do not read the ramblings
    of an idiot.
    Maybe an alien got you and wisked you off to another planet.