Not too long ago I wrote a post about how I had aged very suddenly, and while it shocked me I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. One of the comments I received on this post was that I was being narcissistic… Of course I was! I wrote about myself ageing. Is there anything more narcissistic than that?
I thought about this comment further over the following days and came to the conclusion that I am, and always have been, a bit of a narcissist. But I wonder if all bloggers are the same. We all write about ourselves and our lives, and there has to be some grain of truth to the idea that all bloggers are narcissistic when you consider that simple fact.
But narcissism is more than just being self aware, self criticising, self depreciating and being willing to share your life. Narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes, that derive from arrogant pride”, at least according to Wikipedia.
Hmm… I have a suspicion there are very few bloggers out there who would manage to be successful by admiring their own attributes.
So if it isn’t narcissism, what is it that drives bloggers to write about themselves so often?
I realised the answer when I was questioned over why I would want to write about myself in response to the passing of Robin Williams. It’s a simple answer, really: I am the only person I have the authority to speak for.
It’s all well and good for me to intend to write about society at large, and I do that quite often I must admit, but the simple fact is everything I observe, everything I do, is seen through the lens of being the person that I am. And while I can say I saw such-and-such and it appeared a certain way; to examine the actions that drove that person to do that thing, I can only relate it to myself.
I don’t have the right to speak for those in the middle east, or the person down the street who is trying to save up to buy a new fridge. I can’t tell you what it’s like to be anything of the things I am not. And I suspect all bloggers are in the same boat.
Does that make us narcissistic? Maybe. But does anyone really have a choice?
Do you think bloggers are narcissistic? Do you think you are?