Article Title: The urge to share news of our lives is neither new nor narcissistic

 

Article Summary

 
The main idea of the article is that the urge to share news of our lives is neither new nor narcissistic. Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centeredness and the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. But that’s not true. People have long used media to see reflections of themselves. Long before mobile phones or even photography, diaries were kept as a way to understand oneself and the world one inhabits. These diaries, in contrast, were commonly shared. Young women who were married would send their diaries home to their parents as a way of maintaining kin relations. When family or friends came to visit, it was not uncommon to sit down and go through one’s journal together. Late 19th-century Victorian parents would often read aloud their children’s diaries at the end of the day.
Further the article mentions that diaries are not the only media that people have used to document lives and share them with others. Scrapbooks, photo albums, baby books and even slide shows are all ways in which we have done this in the past, to various audiences. The difference between today’s social media platforms are, by and large, free to use, unlike historical diaries, scrapbooks and photo albums, which people had to buy. Today, advertising subsidizes our use of networked platforms. Instead of social media merely connecting us, it has become a cult of notifications, continually trying to draw us in with the promise of social connectivity There’s a multibillion-dollar industry pulling us into our smartphones, relying on a longstanding human need for communication.

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Words to learn from this Article:

Narcissistic: having or showing an excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.
Quintessential: representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.
Vortex: a whirlpool or whirlwind.
Commodify: turn into or treat as a mere commodity.
Cult: a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society.

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