Vanity on Social Media

With Valentine’s Day around the corner (or quite literally, tomorrow), it’s very likely that you’re going to see a ton of posts of the romantic variety. They may be cute, they may be sappy, they may be cliche, and they might even be coming from you! But the idea that Valentine’s Day is limited to romantic love has changed, and you may also see (or post) about the relationships that you find love and happiness in, like friends, families, pets, even celebrity crushes.

Of course, love isn’t only expressed outwards, but internally as well. The practice of learning to love yourself is a long process, and it can be tricky trying to navigate it and practicing it without feeling like you’re coming across vain, narcissistic, and full of yourself. Having that worry that people would assume these arrogant, negative things about you can make you feel even more guilty for even just thinking something positive about yourself, and getting caught up in that cycle can heighten feelings of anxiety and depression.

It doesn’t help that younger generations have a stereotype of being self-absorbed, fueled in part by social media. We’ve talked about the impact of selfies specifically before, but having profiles on numerous platforms that are about you and where you can talk about yourself whenever you want can lead to wanting to share everything, and by extension, receive notifications from people that praise or validate you.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about yourself on your own accounts at all. Vanity and narcissism are extreme cases, and it isn’t bad to want a little bit of attention or to celebrate and be happy for yourself. It’s even better if you want to post these things without thinking of the social media stats associated with them – ultimately, social media is a time capsule where you can collect things that are important to you, regardless of how many people commented or shared your post. So if you want to post a selfie where you think you look good or share a meal that you’re proud that you cooked, you should, and you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty that you’re doing it too much. These are posts that you can look back on and remember as a time that you were happy, and you can take pride in these accomplishments.

And tomorrow is no exception. Regardless of who other people are posting about, loving yourself and finding qualities about yourself that you want to talk and brag about is just as valid.

How do you feel about people talking about themselves on social media? Do you think that social media is fueling narcissism? When do you share things about yourself online, if ever? How does it make you feel?

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: We look forward to talking to you!

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