I recently had a discussion with a friend about how we are living in an “extremely narcissistic time.” Reading some of the academic literature on motivations for blogging, this claim seems like it has some validity to it. Many of the motivations for blogging seem tied to a desire for one-sided self-expression and indulgence.
A 2004 paper by Nardi et al. includes some interesting excerpts from blogs that are particularly telling. When bloggers write about events that happened during their day (typical “diary style” fodder), part of the motivation may be to look back on it for future enjoyment. Part may be for gaining personal insight by reflecting on past events. However, why use a public blog rather than a private diary? It seems that many bloggers are motivated by the knowledge that others may read and form impressions about the blogger based on their words. If the blog is entertaining, it suggests that the blogger is an entertaining person. If it teaches a skill, it suggests that the blogger is very skillful. If it captures life events that seem interesting or glamorous, then it suggests that the blogger is an interesting person. Self-projection, then, is key. Can we say that this is a form of Narcissism?
This seems to have strong similarities to the Facebook mini-feed phenomenon. When