Noun 1. delusions of grandeur *- a delusion (common in paranoia) that you are much greater and more powerful and influential than you really are.
delusion, psychotic belief – (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary
I am truly convinced that the Internet & Social Networking sites caters to those that suffer from Delusions of Grandeur. I’m sure everyone has came across those types that fit the above definition, now more so on the Internet than ever, thanks to Twitter, Facebook & Myspace. You have those people who get a few followers, gasp dare I say it ‘fans’ and their ego grows enormously. Their Twitter & Facebook updates usually consist of only one subject:
I wonder if certain people actually wake up in the morning with new status updates circulating in their heads. I wonder if they already have their Twitter updates written out, and if they actually concoct updates just to add shock value to their seemingly ‘grandiose’ online life, to offset the fact that offline, it’s anything but that. I mean seriously, how many times a day do these people sit online googling themselves and actually get excited to see their search results?
At first I wasn’t a fan of Facebook, but because of a 15 yr class reunion that has came and gone since this original piece was written, I’ve become a lot more active on it. I’ve even written about the disdain I’ve held for “FB” but because of a few people I’ve been able to reconnect with, the disdain has faded a little. It’s proven to be a good tool with catching up with people that I haven’t seen in years and to read about what they’ve been up to. But as with any social networking site, it seems as though everyone is attempting to ‘out do’ each other. Last year, Bassey Ikpi posted a link on Facebook to the recent Washington Post article, “Status Symbol Update” by Patricia Beauchamp.“The real torture came afterward, though, when I checked my “status update” feed on Facebook. While I was proving that fire burns skin and trying to concoct the perfect, effortlessly witty yet decadent way to describe the experience, my friends were doing things that I could only dream of: Jacob was “skydiving,” Marie was “polishing her husband’s Emmy” and Nate was “closing a deal with ABC.” I had just spent an afternoon experiencing life as a human shish kebab, and here was yet another series of intimidating status postings that made me nearly confess to the world, “Patricia is considering plagiarizing other people’s Facebook updates so her life won’t seem so pathetic — which is, sadly, even more pathetic.”
The complete article is a definite must read and it’s sure to garner a few laughs as well. I remember having a conversation last year with Facebook’s VP of Business Development, while attending a Marketing & Advertising conference in Orlando. What I found interesting is that, he also noticed the, “My status is bigger than your status” phenomenon going on. We joked about how even online, there are people who constantly need to have their egos stroked because maybe it’s just not happening as much offline.
With the advent of Twitter and it’s ‘microblogging’ popularity increasing over the years, so has the fact that people are willing to divulge just about anything and everything, usually about themselves of course in 140 characters or less.
Sometimes I find myself sitting and reading stuff online via either Facebook or Twitter and wanting to type OUT LOUD IN CAPS, “STFU, Log off & Go read a book!!“. Maybe that could be considered a social networking breakdown.
Just as Facebook has their “status symbols”, I think Twitter’s status symbol are those who enjoy having a larger number “followers” than the amount of people they “follow” themselves. I’m not sure, but I think it actually makes some people feel more important. Then there are the “Lists”. The Who’s Who lists of Twitter that are usually compiled by some online magazine. Who are the people who come up with these lists? I think a more deserving list to compile should be titled, “The Top 20 Bullshitters of Social Media”. Believe me, there’s a lot more than 20 of them. It reminds me of the Who’s Who List of top high school students and college students, the main point of it all was to get you to buy an overpriced book that had your name in it, but now, it seems as though the main point of these sites who compile these lists are to garner more page views which in return can produce more ad revenue for them, not you.
The realm of Social Networking is definitely running it’s course in the Web 2.0 world. Who knows, maybe in Web 3.0 people will actually learn that being on EVERY social media outlet, does not make you a Sociologist but just someone who may have way too much time on their hands. The irony of it all, most of these people who suffer from Social Networking Delusions of Grandeur, who have these boisterous personalities online, are usually about as dull as a brick offline. Go. Figure.
Lisa Nova’s ~”Twitter Whore”
What happens when Facebook knocks on your door!