Narcissism and social media – Are we becoming a selfish society?

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FRIENDS fans will all remember the episode where Phoebe desperately tries to convince Joey that a ‘selfless good deed,’ is in fact, a thing.
So when he retorts that people are all motivated by some sort of personal advantage, universe-loving Phoebe is naturally infuriated, and goes on a mission to prove him wrong.
Having watched the episode for the umpteenth time the other day, it was a scene that irrevocably struck a nerve.
Were we all really that selfish? That night, I wrested with my thoughts to recall a time when someone had truly done something good, without inheriting any joy for themselves. My mind drew blank.
Dismayed by the theory, I decided to while away the evening by participating with some online research, (stalking a few folk on Facebook) which resulted in me being left rather deflated.
‘Time for me to start being more selfish!’ a friend huffed online, seemingly riled by the fact that her other half was on a lads night out.
‘I’m done helping people from now on!’ another hissed, her feelings echoed by agreements underneath. It was damning to see that most people agreed this was the way forward.
The thing that bothers me most about today’s generation is that we are told not to care anymore. People always want something in return and are generally too lazy to do stuff from the good of their heart.
A number of people I have known previously professed to me once how ‘they couldn’t care less’ about the other person’s feelings if they broke a promise.
One friend confided: ‘You’ve got to be selfish a lot of the time — everyone is these days.’
Her confession made me a little uneasy. Is it always a case of profiting ourselves when it comes to pleasing people?
Another thing I’ve noticed is that today people find it acceptable to scam friends for their own personal gain.
I personally am among many who have been tagged in posts online, shamelessly encouraged to lose weight for someone else to benefit financially. A small smile played on my lips when one of the insulted targets decided to bark back: ‘I love my body the way it is, thank you!’ Needless to say, she was never invited to purchase slimming powder again.
The thing that gets to me is that it has even become socially acceptable to throw out subtle insults, without sparing any feelings, so long as the person dishing it out makes a business deal. Not only is this self-centred and infuriating, it’s also rather mean.
It bugs me most is that people today are intrinsically unable to weather life’s let-downs without throwing a strop and professing a lifetime of ‘being selfish.’
There are few people who would go out of their way without wanting something in return.
People love to harp on, willy-nilly, about the fact that being self-absorbed is indeed the way forward, and that people ought not to give a damned about others anymore.
Well, I’m about to say something rather shocking: our selfishness is breeding a horrible society.
If we continue the way we’re going, people are bound to end up alienated, and completely deficient of morals.
Although it may be true that, yes, we feel better after doing a good deed, is it not better to do this than ignore others, simply because we can’t be bothered?
I’m amazed at the sheer careless attitudes of people these days. Not only is chivalry a dying breed, but kindness seems to be too.
We’re all selfish in our own ways from time to time. But if we continue going down this route, what’s left of the brave and good will be gone.
Our togetherness is lacking tremendously, much to the detriment of our future children.
So please, if you’re reading this, consider being a bit less selfish. It’s about time we started putting others first.

Styletto Mag is a Scottish online magazine that publishes the latest articles on fashion, beauty, travel, food and relationships. The site was founded in August 2011. Styletto Mag is a sleek, easy to access online magazine which features shopping trends, beauty reviews, funny features, and women's lifestyle articles. To contribute or submit articles, send them to

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