The Narcissism of Ordinary

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I was sitting at a coffee shop yesterday having a morning bagel and coffee.  The guy next to me having his morning coffee with some girl decides that this is such a grand moment he simply must post it to his FB page.  What is this narcissism of the ordinary and mundane all about?  I think I have a couple answers.  First, social media and society at large now demands that no one can be average or ordinary.  LinkedIn tells you unless you are a superstar in your profession (even if that's a cashier at the Piggly Wiggly) you can't get a job.  Match.com tells you average people will never find a good spouse.  Average?  You are banned to live in hell.

 

So what do people do?  They try to make their banal, boring, mundane, repetitive lives into something unique, special and fabulous.  Having coffee at Einstein becomes akin to flying first class to Monte Carlo to see the races.  People feel compelled to blast their outlandishly boring life details to anyone with an Internet connection, and probably dumb enough to actually view.  I get "status updates" all the time from people on FB showing them at dinner, at the beach, walking their dog, shopping for grocery.  Really, when the hell did it become vogue for thinking 15 minutes of fame now should consist of 15 minutes of routine things people do in life.

 

Newsflash to the bagel and coffee poster, and the millions like him. Those that lead the life you think you lead do not post the details of their life.  They are too busy sipping champagne at the first class lounge waiting for their personal escort down to the airplane for their trip to Paris, Barcelona, or Rome to be bothered to share the details with people whose most exciting activity today will be picking out fruit at the grocery store.

 

The reality is most of us lead boring, routine lives.  Posting the particulars on FB, Snapchat or some other mindless social media dribble doesn't turn your life into the lifestyles of the rich and fabulous.  Instead, if you are that bored find a charity and work with people that would do anything just to have an ordinary day.

 

 

Comments

Donna Added Oct 30, 2017 - 4:05pm
Agreed George..
How about buy the homeless man a coffee, turn off the damn phone, head to local nursing home, read a book to one of them,go volunteer at a rescue for animals or people..
If only they lived through our times..
I just put my Grams to rest, 95 years old..
The life she lived, the changes she saw,all amazing.
If any of the young ones of today, had any idea of how far we have come, they may have more of an understanding of why we think as we do.. They all seem to think Social media, is the best place to be..
Besides,competition in this world, is already enough when simply trying to survive. Who needs to compete with an elite group, that we don't even want around us.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 30, 2017 - 4:08pm
The ordinary sometimes feel extraordinary!
opher goodwin Added Oct 30, 2017 - 4:28pm
I just had a great piece of cheese on toast. It was perfect. I wish I'd thought to take a photo.
Tamara Wilhite Added Oct 30, 2017 - 5:25pm
Reasons:
* they think the quantity of sharing is more important than the quality so share everything
* they associate the casual comments of strangers with love, respect and depth
* they mistake a large following of trivial nothings is fame, fortune and in general good
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Oct 30, 2017 - 5:27pm
I must be a superstar because I got my dream job without even being on LinkedIn. And I'm too busy with living for Facebook. Honestly the only thing I post to Twitter (which I am on) is news articles and sometimes links to stuff I've wrote here or on Medium. My personal life is none of the public's business, I'm a private person, which is apparently a rare thing today. 
Jeff Michka Added Oct 30, 2017 - 7:19pm
Ah, lady segmentyerhat is back and touting her "online whizdom:"I post to Twitter (which I am on AS JUST A TWIT) is news articles and sometimes links to stuff I've wrote here or on Medium.-Of course you do...and every time someone stupidly responds to one of your conspiracy theory posts, you phone goes off and you rush to see who posted what.  Your "online life" is really all you got, save your paycheck from the old SU.
Nasty Added Oct 30, 2017 - 7:52pm
A rare moment of insight George! Too bad it is wasted on the practitioners.
Donna, gives everything to the down trodden, except self respect.
Dino the master of the mundane, shares the obvious.
opher IS Facebook.
Tamera, is They, They, They. Never We, We, We. And I, I, I, is lost forever.
Lady Sekhmetnakt, is an electronic illusion that has no life!
Michka mouse. Is nothing going nowhere. His highs are also his lows.
 
As long as we label millions of people as being the same, life will be FACEBOOK.
 
Nasty Added Oct 30, 2017 - 8:04pm
Equality is destroying Society. We must all be wiser than our President, Generals, and local school districts, police, and the other party. We get to demonstrate how wise we are by posting links to Huffy Post, Google, or Fox.
Every society is part of our understanding! Israel, ISIS, EU and Africa are all neighborhoods we can expose as motivated by whatever we create, in our minds eye!
 
Understanding and expertise, have left the building!
Bill Kamps Added Oct 31, 2017 - 7:28am
The first mistake is being in Facebook in the first place :)   never was in it, and dont get the updates on who is eating what for brunch :)
 
Its the same on the plane, the plane lands, everyone has to call someone and tell them "the plane has landed, and I am waiting to get off".  SFW?
 
It was funny article, thx :)
George N Romey Added Oct 31, 2017 - 8:15am
We are being conditioned that being average or ordinary means we are losers.  So we are forced to invent ourselves as superior, larger life, perfect characters.  LinkedIn is the worst and its all about monetizing people's unemployment or underemployment situation. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 31, 2017 - 10:11am
George, for me this is my version of social media. The media of ideas, sometimes expressed well, other times expressed clumsily, but still it is ideas. I am on Facebook but primarily to enable my blog to be there as well (ok, family connections and cat videos also play a role). But you hit the nail on the head about narcissism. It certainly seems to be contagious within at least Western society.
 
Can someone please explain why the Kardashians are revered?
opher goodwin Added Oct 31, 2017 - 11:26am
Thanks Nasty - nice to know. BTW I never post directly on facebook or check it. My blog goes out on it I believe.
opher goodwin Added Oct 31, 2017 - 11:27am
Nasty - come on - be fair - it's not hard for all of us to be smarter than the President.
Edward Miessner Added Oct 31, 2017 - 4:27pm
Agreed, George. I actually think that it's the actual technology that's enabling this--both "smart" phones and the "social" media. The phones enable you to take a picture of just about anything and instantly post it to the net. Social media means you have this whole peer pressure group called "friends" who insist that one constantly post details of one's so-called fabulous life, and ooh and ahh at the sorry little details of theirs. And how did they get that way? Answers abound...
George N Romey Added Oct 31, 2017 - 4:37pm
Our fascination with fame and celebrity goes back decades. For years very few achieved it with the vast majority only dreaming it. Then first came so called reality tv. Then social media made publicizing our lives very easy. The problem is most of us still lead very ordinary if not boring lives. Posting a video of us shoving a bagel down our throat doesn’t change that fact.
Nasty Added Oct 31, 2017 - 5:03pm
opher. Do you think you are smart enough to amass a fortune, be surrounded by beautiful women, own properties around the world, and get elected POTUS?
 
I think some serious self examination is in order! I wrote about
Parataxic distortion to the sock puppet, I think now it was for you also. You have lost touch with reality.
I disagree with Trump on many issues, but see how he has outsmarted the opposition at every turn. Think what he could do if all sides of an issue were considered in civil discourse, instead of rancor.
 
George N Romey Added Oct 31, 2017 - 5:09pm
I think Trump is savvy which doesn’t necessarily translate into real intelligence. Trump in many ways had the luck of being in the right situation at the right time but so far he’s not been able to capitalize on it.
Nasty Added Oct 31, 2017 - 5:49pm
George. I don't know what you consider REAL intelligence. but being the most powerful man, in the most powerful Nation on this earth, fits my definition of REAL intelligence.
 
Considering the opposition, I think he has done more than anyone expected. But of course the GOOGLE HEADS think they could have done better because EVERYTHING wasn't done the first month!
 
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Katharine Otto Added Oct 31, 2017 - 5:50pm
George,
Isn't it nice to know other people's lives are boring, too?
 
I suspect it's not fame they want, but acknowledgement.  In a crowded world, with so many demands on attention, it's easy to feel insignificant, irrelevant, superfluous, invisible.  On Facebook, presumably, there's a chance that someone will notice or care to find out what you're up to. 
 
Are the bagels extra special?  What does one post about breakfast, anyway?  
George N Romey Added Oct 31, 2017 - 6:11pm
Katharine technology is destroying our ability to have meaningful relationships. Remember when people could talk and enjoy each other’s company for hours. Now it’s just an orgy of self gloating with no real connection. No wonder there seems to be more hate.
Bill H. Added Oct 31, 2017 - 8:20pm
Back in the mid '70s, I worked with a group of guys that became some of the real pioneers in the personal computer area. Most of what I did was assemble and test prototype circuit boards for the original S-100 buss 8-bit computers and make cables to interface paper tape readers and cassette recorder/player data storage units. I learned much from these guys in the art of machine language programming and interfacing analog sensors to a digital world. I still keep in contact with the few still alive and we all pretty much agree that what we were working on way back then was never intended to morph into what it has. The original concept was to provide useful information to the user allowing them to make better decisions. A few other ideas were to replace the typewriter and to monitor sensors and control equipment.
We never thought back then that computers would end up controlling the population.
opher goodwin Added Nov 1, 2017 - 6:10am
Nasty - I don't know. I was certainly smart enough when a teenager to realise that the sort of lifestyle you appear to admire was not one I wanted to emulate. I rapidly came to the conclusion that the pursuit of money, material gain, status and plastic women was a negative way to spend your life. My aims of friendship, love, creativity and real experience seemed much more fulfilling. And I think my life has proved that.
So yes, after due consideration - I would consider myself more intelligent than a narcissist who has spent his life ruthlessly destroying other people, flaunting himself and being an arrogant arsehole.
opher goodwin Added Nov 1, 2017 - 6:12am
Nasty - being a megalomaniac doesn't necessarily mean you are intelligent. It does suggest other character traits to me.
Nasty Added Nov 1, 2017 - 6:41am
 
opher. I will leave you to your fantasy land. Nothing can penetrate your delusions of grandeur. Enjoy your shadow life. May your great GOD GOOGLE watch over you, and keep you from being mentally challenged.
 
Nasty Added Nov 1, 2017 - 6:43am
Are you in a monastery, where you can be cared for?
opher goodwin Added Nov 1, 2017 - 8:30am
Nasty - no monastery - I have handmaidens and music - all my needs catered for. Life is great.
God Google tells me the truth and all is wonderful thanks.
Who would have thought that giving up the mindless pursuit of wealth and power could be so good.
wsucram15 Added Nov 1, 2017 - 9:46am
I dont think overall..for the population computers have been a good thing.  I think that Zukerberg took advantage of people and their ingenuity and has made billions from the degradation of human beings and the ability to reason and think. 
He has defined for millennials and those that follow..what is socially acceptable. 
His media platform is almost essential if you want to advertise to those that buy and it costs money daily/weekly/monthly.
Hes got quite the money maker there.
 
I dont like social media..although this is social media and I find this acceptable most of the time.   It has its moments.
 
I dont like LinkedIn, FB..or anything else.  Although Twitter is good for news and other interesting items.  Social media is a good marketing or networking tool..if you arent doing that, then you are wasting time, which is what advertisers count on...
Michael Potts Added Nov 1, 2017 - 10:18am
Sometimes behavior like that can be narcissism, but often it is reaching out to people we have known throughout life and letting them know how we are doing. I don't mind hearing what my high school classmates are up to, and I particularly like to hear from my close friends on Facebook. When people are scattered all over the country and cannot keep up with one another in a busy world, social media, despite its obvious flaws, can be helpful.
Donna Added Nov 1, 2017 - 1:43pm
Nasty,
Self Respect- If one was to help, would this not TEACH them some RESPECT?
Would seeing an elder laying in a bed, who has no one come see them, in possibly years, as you read the book to them, and a smile appears, this teaches nothing of self respect? 
George N Romey Added Nov 1, 2017 - 2:33pm
Many hiring managers are moving from LI to Indeed.  First, they've come to realize that most of the "profiles" are just pure bullshit.  Second, when they post a job on LI suddenly they have hundreds if not thousands of request to "connect" or "Inmails.  Also nothing but bullshit.
Edward Miessner Added Nov 1, 2017 - 3:27pm
George, you are right. LinkedIn is basically a facebook marketed as a career-enhancing tool to professionals. I tend to ignore it.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 1, 2017 - 9:48pm
George,
It's important to think of social media as an evolving medium for relationship.  Of course nothing is as fulfilling for some of us as a personal encounter, but this is not often practical, when people are so scattered and over-committed.  
 
I'm not sure any generation has ever mastered the art of conversation.  How many people have the ability to converse without devolving into arguing, monologuing, interrupting, not listening, or otherwise obstructing the flow?  With social media, at least you can finish a sentence without being interrupted.
Bill H. Added Nov 3, 2017 - 11:33am
 
I was on LI during it's infancy. It served it's purpose well at that time, and was relied upon my many people responsible for hiring. Edward, you are correct, it has since morphed into a Facebook waana-be, with all of the spam, bubbleized news, and ego-crap that one would expect on Facebook. It is now essentially just another worthless tool that is now being used by corporations to spy on the masses.
Edward Miessner Added Nov 3, 2017 - 2:48pm
Bill H, you are right. And a lot of people think that these big social media platforms plus YouTube and Google help the US government spy on the masses, world-wide. And there is actually some truth behind this... the truths that were leaked by Edward Snowden when he exposed all that NSA spying by the selfsame government.

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