January 17, 2014
In Greek mythology the character Narcissus was a character so full of himself that he fell in love with his own reflection. If Narcissus was around today he’d find that he had a lot more available avenues for self love, on the internet specifically. Apparently our increasing ability to tell and show the world about whatever happens to strike our fancy at any given time has caused the psychology community to take notice. Recent studies have shown an increasing rate of narcissistic tendencies in America’s youth and, naturally, this phenomenon now has it’s own name, “Internet Narcissism Syndrome”. This, of course, is a good thing since now if you are a 25 year old who never leaves your room in your parent’s house you can now change your Facebook status from “Loser” to “Victim”. The latest example of this escalating virtual “look at me” culture is the gentleman who has taken to the web to allow the global community of strangers to pick the first and middle names of his unborn daughter.
Apparently impending fatherhood so overwhelmed this guy that he found himself incapable of picking up a copy of The Complete Book of Baby names and took to Reddit for suggestions for what to fill in on the “name” section of the kid’s birth certificate. Although he admits that he did not initially tell his wife about this endeavor, the Mrs. quickly lent some sanity to the effort—she is doing the heavy lifting after all—by insisting that his request carry a caveat insisting that they had the right to make the final naming decision regardless of the results. This is becoming an increasingly important point of order since the current name “standings” are as follows:
First Name Rankings
Now I’m no expert on parenting but I’m feel pretty confident in predicting that anyone who names their kid Megatron Doge is going to have to deal with more than the usual level of teenage rebellion. But as we all know, this exercise has nothing to do with the impending bundle of joy, or her name, but everything to do with dear old dad. As if we needed any additional evidence that things have changed in our culture, we now have replaced the image of the proud dad passing out cigars with a self-absorbed moron whose ego is slightly larger than the nursery his child will sleep in.
I must admit that I am constantly mystified by people’s desire to let everyone know where they just ate or to share a new recipe for lemon pound cake, but it seems like things are moving to a whole new level. Now that one person has reaped headlines for idiotic behavior, hasn’t he raised the bar for thousands of people who are currently seething in anonymity while looking for ways to achieve their own “Warhol moment of fame”? No need to answer since that was a rhetorical question. Don’t misunderstand me, I am obviously a big believer in the power of technology, but why does it seem to bring out the inner jerk in so many of us? I suppose we’ll never know the answer to that question, and we’ll just have to take comfort in the fact that folks who appeal to other Internet users to name their kid are the exception and not the rule. As for the unnamed baby girl, I think she’ll be fine since her mother seems to be a tad less whimsical than dad, but I would suggest she revoke his internet privileges once his daughter is born.