There were 317 responses to this week’s Up/Down, and nearly two-thirds of those who responded said “Yes!!!”
A recent study of 16,000 university students across the U.S. showed that 30% of college students score as “narcissistic” on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (See Twenge). This is nearly double the number scoring in this range in 1982. Narcissism is typically defined as the overestimation of one’s value and importance. Narcissists are often described as vain, entitled and unconcerned with others. Many celebrities, particularly those who seek celebrity for the sake of it, show signs of narcissism. In fact, a study conducted by celebrity psychiatrist “Dr. Drew” found that the celebrities (among his patients) who score highest are reality stars.
The fact is we live in a society that celebrates public attention and the attainment of quasi-celebrity status purely for the sake of its attainment. The problem is that, statistically speaking, it’s not possible for two thirds of us to gain true fame. So, one has to ask, what is driving this desire? One possible answer is the excess of reality TV and the ease of access to large numbers of people through the web. Regardless of what is driving this trend, true fame does have its consequences. For those looking to be famous, consider the following:
• Whether in your home, online, or out in public, you will no longer have privacy!
• You will always (and unfairly) be held to a higher standard than your peers! Keep in mind that we love to criticize, ridicule, and condemn celebrities for thinking, speaking and behaving just the same as we do!
• Everyone will always want something from you! There are a lot of professional opportunists out there who will see you as a ticket to money … and you likely won’t see much of it yourself!