The Narcissistic Plague

by Ashley Fern

In the world of a technological revolution, narcissism is everywhere. Young adults flaunt it on Facebook and Instagram and celebrities make a living off it. This is a culturally conditioned epidemic of pathological self-concern. All day long we think about what we like, what we want, what we don't like, and what we don't want; we're always looking at situations that garner the most self-rewards. This makes us inherently selfish because all we care about is what we are going to get out of any situation.

Many people have narcissistic tendencies instilled in them at an early age. How many times has a parent or teacher told you how special you were without having achieved anything? When young people fail at something, reminding them they are special is not constructive. There is a need for honesty to show these people that they should be trying harder.

Children and young adults need to be raised in a more realistic sense. Promoting a false sense of entitlement will push narcissistic levels through the roof. Why do organizations give out trophies for participation? To make everyone feel special, although this may seem like a good idea, it is inherently problematic. This offers people a false sense of entitlement they will carry with them in a variety of situations.

The dwindling state of America's economy can even be related back to narcissism. American society actively promotes living beyond your means so it should come as no surprise that so many people are in debt. Everyone wants to appear cooler or more successful than they truly are. Government policy encourages this by compensating people for collecting too much debt through easy credit and taxing the sh*t out of people who save. The economic system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be reconfigured to reward the producers and savers, and instead start taxing consumption.

People suffering from this condition react to insults with anger and aggression. They become defensive and refuse to take responsibility for their shortcomings because who are you to treat them as anything less than what they think they are. This type of behavior is frequently seen in the outlandish behavior of celebrities. Just take a look at Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. #winning? I think not.

A materialistic approach to life and people will only result in depression. How can you truly achieve happiness if all you care about is yourself without the concern of others? This is not a personal problem but a cultural problem. Our society breeds this mentality and until there is a conscious effort made, it will not be stopped.

It is important to think and understand your own nature and what you desire from life, but it's essential to understand that your actions are inextricably entangled with those of others around the world. It's not intrinsically narcissistic to think about oneself, but it is narcissistic to think about oneself with the context of others around us removed and in disproportion.

Self-infatuation is a plague that is corroding the core beliefs of society. This is a psychological disease promoted by the shallow nature of our culture. The only way out of this psychological prison is to make a true committed effort. Once you awaken to the reality of it, you become free; you escape the fears and desires that your own ego trapped you into believing.

These aspects became the detrimental narrative that formed your relationship to life and that needs to be rectified. The issue is not to get people to disregard themselves, but to get people to consider others at least equally as much as they think about themselves.