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Digital Narcissism
영어뉴스편집국  |  hakbolyj@donga.ac.kr
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승인 2013.10.15  10:19:48
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
George Khoury
English instructor

 In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter who was a very very handsome young man. The women loved him, men wanted to be him, and he seemed to relish in all the admiration. Overtime, he began to crave and need this admiration. He liked it, and wanted more of it. He wanted more people to admire him for his beautiful looks but eventually he let himself get carried away so far that all his shallow pride led to an arrogant personality. He was no longer able to be sincere with people, and down to earth. Because of his attitude and behavior, Nemesis, the goddess of revenge decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he would see his own reflection and fall in love with the image, and eventually would die there.

It seems that the goddess Nemesis is still luring us to the pools of our demise. But instead of pools, we stare at our smart phones, or our social media. We stare at images of ourselves and of others. We stare at our games, and various media, and are falling in love with the shallow digital world, which many social scientists believe are influencing us to become less sincere and more distracted. The famous American media theorist Neil Postman warned that we are amusing ourselves to death with all the entertainment options available, and that was long before the smart phone. To Postman, there are very important issues that we are not addressing and instead are just obsessing too much with our personal image, enjoyment, and paradoxically, as all the Zen teachers of history tell us, that stressing ourselves out leads to worse performances.

Today, various social scientists have found a direct link between smartphone use and stress. More specifically, British psychologist Richard Balding found that Smartphone use for personal or social ends led to increased stress levels. However, they also found that using our smartphones for professional reasons had no effects on stress. From these findings, we can infer that the less we use our smartphones as a personal or social tool, the better and more relaxed we’ll feel during our day.

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