Behavioral Trends: Me, Myself and I

 

Me, Myself & I

 

It’s all about ME and how extraordinary I am. I’m not empathic and caring isn’t my thing. I overestimate my talents and likability. My extreme need for attention and showing-off have never been easier and, ironically, celebrated. Welcome to the era of digital narcissism!
 
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NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER

The Greek mythological character Narcissus, a hunter who was obsessed with his own appearance, has served as the basis for the term narcissism, which is the defining characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This condition, suffered by around 6% of the population, is characterised by exaggerated feelings of grandiosity, self-superiority and a fixation on their own achievements and/or their appearance. Despite affecting most people around them, those with NPD are said to develop the disorder as a way of coping with their subpar reality, and is often a consequence of childhood trauma and abuse. One thing is certain, though: Everything in their lives revolves around themselves.

Me, Myself and I - Narcissistic Personality Disorder

wikipedia/Narcissistic personality disorder

CINDY LA REGIA, BY RICARDO CUCAMONGA

Regiomontanos or regios, the natives of Monterrey, Mexico are known for having an inflated sense of pride about their hometown, often to the point of narcissism. This is further accentuated when it comes to the inhabitants of the upscale San Pedro Garza García suburb, which has been cited as the area with the best quality of life in the entire country. Humorist, author and graphic artist Ricardo Cucamonga has spent over 15 years reflecting and poking fun of this phenomenon through his flagship character and comic strip, Cindy La Regia, a stereotypical, self-centered regiomontana girl with expensive taste. Exploding in online popularity, the comic, born as a black humor parody, has now expanded beyond the strip format, spawning books and even a movie, ultimate proof that Cindy La Regia is here to stay, goeey!

Me, Myself and I - Cindy la Regia

cindylaregia.com
ricardocucamonga.com

VLOGGERS

YouTube’s original slogan was “Broadcast Yourself” – and its users took it to heart, essentially giving anyone and everyone permission to freely showcase themselves on their platform. It was natural, then, that video bloggers (vloggers) made YouTube their domain, fostering a community of people who simply sat in front of a camera to narrate their lives, their anecdotes, and even their drama, that exists to this day. All kinds of vloggers and YouTubers exist, with varying degrees of entitlement and self-centredness, covering everything from makeup tutorials to travel.

Me, Myself and I - Vloggers

businessinsider.com (article)

TIKTOK

TikTok is known for being a source of eternal entertainment in the form of 1-minute-long videos (or shorter). However, the app is also known for being a breeding ground for self-obsessed influencers, some of which only take to the app to post dance videos and paid partnerships. The Gen Z-dominated app is basically becoming a launchpad for all kinds of young people who embody the “me, myself and I” phenomenon to become famous and financially successful, all through the power of teen fans and dance trends.

Me, Myself and I - TikTok

tiktok.com

ECHO CHAMBERS & FILTER BUBBLES

Social media was conceived as a way for us to keep in touch with the people and topics we’re interested in. By definition, most of what we see on these platforms is catered to and centered around us. So it’s no surprise that when algorithms started taking over, they started repeating to us what we already liked and believed in, no matter if it’s politics, news, or music taste. These collections of one-sided, biased information are called filter bubbles, and they make up a large amount of what we call “echo chambers”: fragmented online spaces where all information strengthens the opinions you already have. Those spaces make it difficult to acquire nuance and better understand opposing perspectives, isolating you and your opinions with a dogmatic group of like-minded people.

Me, Myself and I - Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles

wikipedia/Echo_chamber_(media)

INFLUENCERS IN THE WILD

We all know those perfect selfie angles and manicured Instagram feeds are too good to be true. Influencers in the Wild is a bizarre, hilarious Instagram account that chronicles the extreme lengths influencers go to in order to craft their posts. Seemingly entranced in their own world, the people featured on the account perform feats from laying on the edge of a windowsill to sitting in a jet engine (among others), there’s no limit for these fearless Instagram-obsessed folks – as long as they get their perfect shot.

Me, Myself and I - Influencers in the Wild

instagram/influencersinthewild

FACEAPP

The advancements in AI and machine learning have allowed for many revolutionary changes in our day to day life, and many more to come. They also allow us to tweak our selfies in a myriad ways. FaceApp boasts all kinds of features to reimagine yourself – from changing hair colours and adding smiles to even aging you a few decades. Because simply capturing your current appearance isn’t enough, FaceApp lets you take a look at multiple alternate versions of yourself, bringing new meaning to the phrase “me, myself and I”.

Me, Myself and I - FaceApp

faceapp.com

PARASOCIAL INTERACTION & RELATIONSHIPS

The relationship between fans and their favorite celebrities has long been perceived as one-dimensional, one-sided and almost fictitious. After all, how could you possibly believe that an internationally famous singer, actor or even YouTuber with millions of fans could have a one-on-one relationship with all of them? This phenomenon is known as parasocial interaction, and it’s formed on the illusion of closeness between two strangers. It’s healthy as long as fans are aware of the limits – but it can become troubling if it becomes an obsession, and can lead to stalking or worse. An extreme rendition of this trend, parasocial interaction is more prevalent than we think, and it’s important to recognise it.

Me, Myself and I - Parasocial Interaction

wikipedia/Parasocial_interaction

CARRD

Building a personal brand requires, at the very least, a basic landing page or digital business card where people can learn a bit more about you, what you do, and where to find you. One of the most popular build-it-yourself platforms for this purpose is Carrd, an extremely simple, one-page interface which features readymade templates and ample customization. Carrd has even proved popular among Generation Z, which uses the site as a way to showcase their info to prospective online friends. Nonetheless, anyone looking to make a clean, easy landing page will find a suitable means to do so in Carrd.

Me, Myself and I - Carrd

carrd.co

SOCIAL BLADE

A personal brand built through social media influence is all about metrics and statistics. The amount of followers, views, likes, comments, and the ratio between all of these is the most defining factor in deciding whether someone makes it as an influencer or not. In the past, tools like Klout created an aggregate score across your social media accounts to gauge your overall presence and influence. Now, sites like Social Blade allow users to track their performance across their multiple accounts, allowing anyone, not just influencers, to have a better understanding of the impact of their online presence.

Me, Myself and I - Social Blade

socialblade.com

L’ORÉAL BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT

Cosmetics company L’Oréal Paris adopted its current, famous slogan “Because I’m Worth It” in 1973, and since then, it’s become the inspiration for thousands of women to express themselves through makeup and self-care. By appealing to the sense of ego and self-confidence, L’Oréal has been able to keep a prominent place in the cosmetics industry and a loyal customer base through the decades. Though it’s been long since the slogan was first used, it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon – it strikes just the right chord with its audience.

Me, Myself and I - L'Oreal Because You're Worth It

lorealparisusa.com

FACETUNE

Photo retouching has been around for about as long as photography itself, and in the digital age, it’s been easier (and more prominent) than ever. Our smartphones now allow us to make edits worthy of Photoshop in the palm of our hands, and what better timing than during the selfie revolution? One of the most popular retouching apps is Facetune, which gained notoriety after several influencers started using it to perfect their already-filtered selfies. The app’s multiple functions allow users to smooth and heal their skin, brighten their eyes, whiten their teeth and even remove scars or acne, making everyone reach their own standards of beauty.

Me, Myself and I - FaceTune

facetuneapp.com

HI FROM THE OTHER SIDE

As presented above, echo chambers have a harmful effect on people’s ability to confront opposing points of view, ultimately straining their social abilities at large. A simple solution: Match two people with contrasting opinions and encourage them to have a conversation. In 2017, the website Hi From the Other Side manually matched hundreds of people who supported Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States election with each other, resulting in an interesting burst of the filter bubble and a surprising amount of middle ground between both sides. One thing was clear from this initiative: Others’ opinions don’t always hinder your ego.

Me, Myself and I - Hi From the Other Side

hifromtheotherside.com

INSTAGRAM

What’s the point of taking pictures if you can’t share them with the world? Instagram has long been the main photo-based social media, and has had a great deal of influence in the popularity of online (and IRL) trends. Particularly, posting pictures of whatever trendy dish you’re eating (as if anyone asked!), spending more time at the gym posing than working out, and essentially showing yourself off through all kinds of highly-edited selfies. Instagram is the digital home of vanity and narcissism, whether we like it or not, and it’s here to stay.

Me, Myself and I - Instagram

instagram.com

KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS

Throughout its 20 seasons, the hit reality show from E! has shown millions of viewers every minute detail in the Kardashian family’s personal and professional lives. Ever since its 2007 premiere, the show has been the target of negative critical response, but still has enjoyed extremely high ratings. People watch the 40-minute show (as a guilty pleasure or otherwise) just to see what the family, who is “famous for being famous”, is up to in their Hollywood mansions and using their extravagant wealth. The show’s success is built entirely on the self-absorbed world of these people, and how seemingly unearthly their lives are – the pinnacle of narcissism.

Me, Myself and I - Keeping Up with the Kardashians

eonline.com

SELFIE STICKS

Camera accessories known as ”monopods” have been around since the 1920s, but it was only during the late 2010’s that modernized versions of monopods became ubiquitous under the name of “selfie sticks”. With ranges surpassing 70 cm, the devices aim to show a wider field of view in the photo, allowing users to frame themselves more freely in a shot, even opening the possibility of large group selfies. Enthusiasm for the sticks has been on the rise, but do critics who say they’re a narcissistic scourge on society have a point?

Me, Myself and I - Selfie Sticks

wikipedia/selfie_stick

A SELFIE WITH CRISTIANO RONALDO

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest exponents of narcissism in the 21st century. Everything seems to revolve around him, both on the soccer field and outside, and now you can be his companion. With the cr7selfie app you can take your own selfies with Cristiano, without leaving your house.

Me, Myself and I - cristiano ronaldo cr7selfie

cr7selfie.com

JJRC ELFIE DRONE

The ultimate selfie stick, a flying drone to take the best photos of you.

Me, Myself and I - elfie

jjrc.com

ASOCIACIÓN ALTO AL SECUESTRO (STOP KIDNAPPING ASSOCIATION, MEXICO)

Insecurity in Mexico is a big issue. In this social experiment, this association demonstrated the passiveness of people in front of a crime. Hundreds of people witnessed a kidnapping, and NONE of them interfered, nor even called an emergency number to report it.

Me, Myself and I - asociación alto al secuestro

altoalsecuestro.com.mx

 

Click here to navigate our list of Behavioral Trends for value creation, full of insights and needstates, written from a post-demographic human-centered perspective by our partner Andrea Lobo.

 

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