Yesha Callahan

Social Networking Delusions of Grandeur

 
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

megalomania – a psychological state characterized by delusions of grandeur

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:

Themselves.

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?

Megalomania much?

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!

  1. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    you hit the nail on the head w/this one… i’m about 30 seconds from un-follow this guy on twitter (who i’m convinced is short, hence his napolean complex-esque “me, me, me” tweets)… seriously!!!

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @TheStyleChild

      ….I bet I know who you’re referring to..lol

      • January 5, 2009 - Reply

        @[flahy][blak][chik]

        i will DM you the link to his tpage, later…lmao… everytime he tweets, i think to myself… “dude, how old are you” *smh*

  2. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    WOW…lmao. I know a few fools like this. I myself pretty much like to be understated. I don’t want TOO much attention. The problem with this situation is that sooner than later, SOMEONE is gonna wanna meet you…which means, they’re gonna find out you’re really not who you say you are.

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @Kiwi

      I’m sure you do! I heard one last night on the radio show…lol

  3. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    This is hilarious and you are absolutely right. I’m so over Facebook. I can’t stand the instant msg. feature. I actully have someone trying to stalk me on Facebook. I’m only on there if I’m tagged in a photo,or someone’s trying to “friend” These are people I haven’t seen in 15 and 11 years. I mean, I don’t need people having a front row seat into my life, and who really has 400, 700 1,000+ “friends” LOL Love your blog BTW

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @mzroz

      LMAO @ 1000+1!
      I quickly remove any tags that I’ve been added to…and once you remove it, they can’t re-add you either! Perfect!
      Thanks for stopping by as usual!

  4. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    Yes I completely agree that there are many people who suffer from “Delusions of Grandeur”. I’ve heard the phase, “I’m the Myspace King.” and “I’m the Myspace Queen.” And I know both those people and both are losers

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @Danielle

      Myspace has been deleted a long time ago!
      I’ll leave it to my younger cousins age group!

  5. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    Hilarious! I also have a FB and I never got why people put their status up because half of the time, they aren’t doing anything…and if they are, it’s that GREAT that it needs to go on your status? Please, I update the status to say “stll here, still living life!”

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @shannon

      I don’t know who they’re trying to convince, themselves or others, with statuses like “MY LIFE IS SO GREAT”…lol

  6. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    I have a hard time with the social part of those neworking sites.

    • January 5, 2009 - Reply

      @RiPPa

      LOL, yes we’ve discussed that about you before..don’t worry, you’re not missing much!

  7. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    Gurl, I am over here cracking UP seriously about this topic!!
    *LOL*
    I am on FB but I really don’t use it and I don’t even have a page set up. I registered for it so that I can connect with people I know who don’t communicate with the outside world, except by FB! {loooong sigh}
    I joined Twitter a month ago and I am still trying to figure out WHY people are sooo excited about it. It’s great if you want to read 10-15 news feeds at the same time, but you also have to read a bunch of useless information about what someone ate for dinner and how many gray hairs they have in their right ear.
    I think that people need to understand that blogs are NOT autobiographies…people say whatever they want to about their lives online. There are some people who fall in love with someone based on a web page…. that is just sooo sad… really.
    Renaissance Black Woman had to post a man’s pic and detail the cyber stalking last year just to warn other women. I hope that they took her warning seriously….
    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
    Lisa
    P.S. Just a teeny reminder (smiles)…you can vote for my blog this week in The Weblog Awards!

    • January 6, 2009 - Reply

      @BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet

      You definitely have my vote! I love your blog 🙂
      With FB, I think after this reunion planning, I’ll be done with it…the small circle of people that I want to communicate already know how to reach me…
      I recall RBW’s incident, where she had to put him on blast! As much as people can warn others, there’s always those that refuse to heed those warnings, unfortunately.

  8. January 5, 2009 - Reply

    Very funny! I hadn’t seen any of those videos before. But you’re so right – there are so many people who think quite a lot of themselves!

    • January 6, 2009 - Reply

      @Christine

      Lisa Nova’s videos are hilarious! Ironically I came across her on Twitter..lol

  9. January 6, 2009 - Reply

    I am with you on this. I don’t get the obsession with Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or any of these social networks raelly. I love blogging and podcasting. But I try not to get too caught up in it. When Fcaebook took over my college campus a few years ago I was one of the only people who was not on Facebook. I have a personal Myspace page but rarely update it. I just started another Myspace page but only to promote my podcast.

  10. January 6, 2009 - Reply

    Oh Wow. I must e-mail this entry to someone ASAP. You are like, so right (in my best Valley girl voice). When I view certain Twitter’s pages, I am like, really? Yeah right? If I don’t see a photo then it didn’t happen. LOL.
    Thanks for bringing us yet again another thought provoking and well written post. KUDOS SIS!

  11. January 6, 2009 - Reply

    I like FB because I can keep up w. certain ppl w/o having to talk to them on the phone. I know that is horrible, but it is true. Pet peeve: Do not post on my wall for me to e-mail you….just e-mail me, I will respond (eventually)
    I like Twitter…great way to connect w. ppl. Someone on I followed on Twitter did not want to receive replies from ppl they didn’t follow. Of course, they only followed like 60+ ppl and had about 500 followers.
    I had to stop updating Facebook from Twitter…almost got in trouble lol.
    Did anyone use IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in college in the early 90s? if you all remember that, Twitter is a similar concept.

  12. January 6, 2009 - Reply

    Hey…would you believe I found you via twitter? I liked your twitter name and decided to check out your website. I love this blog post…sooo very true.
    I’m new to blogging, Twitter and all things Web 2.0, so thanks for the rundown.
    Peace.

  13. January 6, 2009 - Reply

    I so agree with you on this post. I always wondered why people have so many followers on Twitter but are only following like 1/3 of that number. People are so full of themselves.
    I am also on Facebook, but don’t really get a lot of the nonsense because I only accept friend requests from people that I know and those people usually have very funny and yet common updates. I even deny people that I went to school with if I didn’t really associate with them on that level. I don’t have time for BS. I denied this one chic the other day. I am just going to say (in her defense), that she thought I was somebody else. Yes we did go to college together, but excuse me, I don’t ever remember even waving or smiling in your direction, or you in mine. DENIED!!! Why do you want to be all up in my world now? Nosy biotch…get a life!

  14. January 7, 2009 - Reply

    I love your blog. I am not a real fan of Facebook, however I am there because my best friend wanted me to join and she felt it was easier than Myspace. I check FB every now and then and most of my classmates and friends are there. If you are planning your class reuion you can definitely go there and not have to pay a fee like Classmates.com
    I am a Myspace fanatic and that is because most of the people I network with there are motorcycle/social club related. I guess if you are focused on one particular subject/hobby it’s cool. I have seen where many people are trying to outdo other people status. Wonder if they put too much effort into all that.
    I only have about 19 or so people following me on Twitter. I am not on that too much. I follow about 5 or 6 people through my cell and that’s because these are the same people I am following on blogger and I love the writing. The social networking scene has definitely blown up over the years,

  15. September 17, 2009 - Reply

    I actually asked someone his height on twitter and he was offended, said he could not believe I would ask that, this guy in particular called me and my partner out for not responding and retweeting his tweets, as though we're on twitter just for him…but so many are full of themselves…

    I really like the ones that tweet all day and night to themselves…what in the world?

  16. September 17, 2009 - Reply

    I have a friend who had a problem with a guy going so far as to steal HIS photos and pass them off as his own to pick up women. WTFH?? Clearly he had no intention of ever MEETING these women (when they would find out he's NOT 6'5″ and a model, but rather quite dumpy and round as you could see from a pic of him (?) doing a motorcycle trick) and apparently got off by just being an online pimp. So not only did he have megalomania, he had vicarious megalomania. Sad, sad, sad.

    Honestly, and this may sound weird, I don't think of people online as real people. This isn't a conscious thing, just how I've situated it in my mind. I'm skeptical of EVERYTHING that doesn't sound right, and everything that sound TOO right…. well, pretty much everything until I get some corroborating evidence, usually in the form of seeing it myself with my own eyes, which never happens. Anyone I've met in person that I initially encountered online (2 people) have been friends of friends of mine. Cuz you just never know who suffers from megalomania.

  17. September 17, 2009 - Reply

    LOLOL Loved it Miss. That is one of the many reasons I hate Twitter. We have a dear old friend, who suffers from that godlike complex of having many followers who swell his already big head up *cough* Rippa *cough*

  18. September 17, 2009 - Reply

    I actually asked someone his height on twitter and he was offended, said he could not believe I would ask that, this guy in particular called me and my partner out for not responding and retweeting his tweets, as though we're on twitter just for him…but so many are full of themselves…

    I really like the ones that tweet all day and night to themselves…what in the world?

  19. September 17, 2009 - Reply

    I have a friend who had a problem with a guy going so far as to steal HIS photos and pass them off as his own to pick up women. WTFH?? Clearly he had no intention of ever MEETING these women (when they would find out he's NOT 6'5″ and a model, but rather quite dumpy and round as you could see from a pic of him (?) doing a motorcycle trick) and apparently got off by just being an online pimp. So not only did he have megalomania, he had vicarious megalomania. Sad, sad, sad.

    Honestly, and this may sound weird, I don't think of people online as real people. This isn't a conscious thing, just how I've situated it in my mind. I'm skeptical of EVERYTHING that doesn't sound right, and everything that sound TOO right…. well, pretty much everything until I get some corroborating evidence, usually in the form of seeing it myself with my own eyes, which never happens. Anyone I've met in person that I initially encountered online (2 people) have been friends of friends of mine. Cuz you just never know who suffers from megalomania.

  20. September 18, 2009 - Reply

    LOLOL Loved it Miss. That is one of the many reasons I hate Twitter. We have a dear old friend, who suffers from that godlike complex of having many followers who swell his already big head up *cough* Rippa *cough*

  21. November 11, 2009 - Reply

    […] about as much personality as a bag of cotton balls.  Dull and lifeless. A while ago, I wrote about “Social Networking Delusions of Grandeur” and megalomania, and now more than ever, I truly think tons of people online suffer from some sort […]

  22. October 27, 2010 - Reply

    Sooooooooo what’s the difference between Twitter/Facebook and having a blog? As a fellow blogger, I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling other folks deluded since my blog is all about my life & God.
    The truth is, these social media creators are absolute geniuses for tapping into what we all really want out of life — validation. We all yearn for some kind of validation that can be as simple as someone else saying, “I appreciate your thoughts on the issue” (hence, the comments section of a blog). Else, why even bother having a blog? At least with Twitter you only have about 140 characters to sound off on an issue coherently. On a blog, particularly your own, you can sound off at your leisure.
    It’s all pot & kettle, and you know you love it, too! And why not? We all have thoughts that someone else agrees with, we all have joy and pain we want to share with others. As a community, we should want to share in each others lives. For those that take it too far (sharing whilst on the latrine, etc.) pray for them and keep it moving.

    • October 27, 2010 - Reply

      @DCDistrictDiva

      Blogs have been around way before the term “social media” was ever coined and I’ve pretty much have always written on some form of media, whether it was my own site, or ones that I’ve been paid to write for….so I don’t lump social media “personality types” into the same fold as being a writter/blogger. As far as a comment section, whether I receive 4 comments or 44, it’s all about leaving the floor open. Also, there has been times when certain posts were closed for comments.
      I also tend to find in various forms of social media “over sharing”. Do I over share on my site? Hell no, simply b/c not every aspect of my life is everyone’s business. If I’m going to over share, I’d rather do it through a book agent & publisher.

  23. October 27, 2010 - Reply

    *BRAVO*
    I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the entire social networking dynamic has killed any and all potential for the younger generation to communicate normally (the same can be said for some of the older generation as well). People get really out of control with the idea behind all of these networking sites. Numbers, numbers, numbers that’s all they see. I mean I’m a communications guy at heart. And I actually have a huge interest in sociological studies… I’m just an overall people watcher and observer. But I actually have a life offline. Why do I need thousands of people that I follow or friend? More importantly why do other people feel the need?
    I mean I see posts from people that are the most arrogant and delusional messages you can think of. And when you look at the person, they are the most regular no real life having people in the history of ctrl-alt-del land. But because they have three to five digits, number of friends/followers they feel they are entitled. Riiight.
    got life?
    *enjoyed this post*

  24. October 27, 2010 - Reply

    Yep! Excellent points. To add to the explosion of “you fancy huh?” phemon, there’s a heated battle going on with some vloggers on YouTube…yes…YouTube o_O. The whole issue is very interesting. Started out as a question about integrity and turned into a vlogger war…lol. Disappointing that people assume they’re so *fancy* yet in the real world they wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. I think those who think/act this way are really social misfits to a degree.

    • October 27, 2010 - Reply

      @Melzie

      Wow! Vloggers? I don’t have time for all of that…lol
      I reposted this b/c of the semi meltdown I had on gchat yesterday with my friend Danielle aka Black Snob. Every body wants to be somebody, when they’re nobody offline.

  25. November 2, 2010 - Reply

    You are in my head….for real. FB got on my last nerve and I ended up deactivating my account.
    As someone recently said,
    “Twitter makes me like strangers I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life.”
    Your blog is the business. Keep it up!

  26. November 10, 2010 - Reply

    […] and now there are a few more strangers than friends with access to my Facebook life. Maybe it was Social Networking Delusions of Grandeur. I think most of us are guilty of that at some point and to some small […]

  27. December 22, 2010 - Reply

    Social Networking Delusions of Grandeur | [flahy][blak][chik]: fly ……
    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

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