Truth Code: consiousness
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα consiousness. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα consiousness. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Δευτέρα, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2017





by Ginny Marston,

As a nurse and an Empath, I’ve found that I was constantly feeling drained, having mood changes based on those around me, as well as the need to stop watching and reading about anything negative, including the news. It wasn’t until I discovered how to protect myself that I was able to live my life as an Empath without negative consequences.

6 Ways To Protect Yourself As An Empath

Here is what I found worked best for me:

1. Meditate – I meditate at least once a day; it is my ‘me’ time. Time to clear my head and release others emotions that I have retained and that had continued to stay with me through the day.

2. Crystals – Carrying crystals that protect you from the negative energy such as, Black Tourmaline, Black Obsidian, or Black Onyx. I carry one in my purse as well as have one at my bedside. Just make sure you cleanse your crystals once you have them. Or, if it’s easier, you can buy a Empath protection piece of jewelry.

3. Globe of Light – Each morning I envision myself being covered by a globe or white light of energy that covers my body, like a big bubble, and ask that no negative entities or energy may enter my “bubble”.

4. Salt baths – Put Pink Himalayan Salt in a bath, or try my recipe for a Himalayan salt scrub in the shower. Salt has so many amazing healing properties.

5. Singing – Put on your favorite songs and sing along. Singing has been known to raise your frequency repelling negative energy.

6. Take care of your body – Yes, this is a big one. Make sure you are eating healthy, avoid caffeine, and take time to take care of you. We spend so much time taking care of others we can easily forget about ourselves.

Being an Empath is a great gift; we were born for the path we are on and to make a difference in this world. There is even research that shows that an Empath’s brain responds to certain situations or triggers emotions and have found that 20% of the population are genetically predisposed to be more aware and empathic. You are not alone, as many of us are on the same journey with you. Use your gift for your own good and the good of others.

About the Author: Hello, my name is Ginny, author at MetaMissy.com. I am originally from Long Island, NY but now live in beautiful Florida. I am a Registered Nurse, a healer by nature. Having worked in trauma, I have been with those at the time of passing as well as given comfort to their families. As a child and teen I exhibited special gifts but they faded as my life journey went to raising a family and having a career. It wasn’t until my Grandmother, and then Father, passed that I yearned to be able to see and speak to them to ensure they were at peace and to tell them the things that I wished I had when they were here on Earth. On October 10, 2016, I tragically lost my youngest daughter, Christina. This led me to ‘go down the rabbit hole’ with my grief, pain, and the empty place in my heart only Christina could fill. The note that I laid with her was “You will never be alone as at the time of your death a piece of my heart died with you.” Many of my spiritual friends began to reach out to me, I began to look for signs she was still here with us, and channeled my energy to go back in time to renew my gifts so that I could not only speak with Christina, as I had with my other passed love ones, but to also learn more about her new journey. Christina’s and my journey are just beginning and I hope to share not only my journey with her but how you too can connect with your loved one. Follow MetaMissy on Facebook!
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The following is from the higher consciousness classic, Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. which explains the Living Love system to higher consciousness.

T H E  T W E L V E  P A T H W A Y S To the Higher Consciousness Planes of Unconditional Love and Oneness

FREEING MYSELF

1. I am freeing myself from security, sensation, and power addictions that make me try to forcefully control situations in my life, and thus destroy my serenity and keep me from loving myself and others.

2. I am discovering how my consciousness-dominating addictions create my illusory version of the changing world of people and situations around me.

3. I welcome the opportunity (even if painful) that my minute-to-minute experience offers me to become aware of the addictions I must reprogram to be liberated from my robot-like emotional patterns.

BEING HERE NOW

4. l always remember that I have everything I need to enioy my here and now — unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.

5. I take full responsibility here and now for everything I experience, for it is my own programming that creates my actions and also influences the reactions of people around me.

6. I accept myself completely here and now and consciously experience everything I feel, think, say, and do (including my emotion-backed addictions) as a necessary part of my growth into higher consciousness.

INTERACTING WITH OTHERS

7. I open myself genuinely to all people by being willing to fully communicate my deepest feelings, since hiding in any degree keeps me stuck in my illusion of separateness from other people.

8. I feel with loving compassion the problems of others without getting caught up emotionally in their predicaments that are offering them messages they need for their growth.

9. I act freely when I am tuned in, centered, and loving, but if possible I avoid acting when I am emotionally upset and depriving myself of the wisdom that flows from love and expanded consciousness.

DISCOVERING MY CONSCIOUS-AWARENESS

10. I am continually calming the restless scanning of my rational mind in order to perceive the finer energies that enable me to intuitively merge with everything around me.

11. I am constantly aware of which of the Seven Centers of Consciousness I am using, and I feel my energy, perceptiveness, love and inner peace growing as I open all of the Centers of Consciousness.

12. I am perceiving everyone, including myself, as an awakening being who is here to claim his or her birthright to the higher consciousness planes of unconditional love and oneness.

The following is from a classic of the higher consciousness frontier: Handbook to Higher Consciousness by Ken Keyes, Jr. which explains the Living Love system to higher consciousness.

THE SEVEN CENTERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

1. THE SECURITY CENTER. This Center makes you preoccupied with food, shelter, or whatever you equate with your personal security. This programming forces your consciousness to be dominated by your continuous battle to get “enough” from the world in order to feel secure.

2. THE SENSATION CENTER. This Center is concerned with finding happiness in life by providing yourself with more and better pleasurable sensations and activities. For many people, sex is the most appealing of all sensations. Other addictive sensations may include the sound of music, the taste of food, etc.

3. THE POWER CENTER. When your consciousness is focused on this Center, you are concerned with dominating people and situations and increasing your prestige, wealth, and pride — in addition to thousands of more subtle forms of hierarchy, manipulation, and control.

4. THE LOVE CENTER. At this Center you are transcending subject-object relationships and are learning to see the world with the feelings and harmonies of flowing acceptance. You see yourself in everyone — and everyone in yourself. You feel compassion for the suffering of those caught in the dramas of security, sensation, and power. You are beginning to love and accept everyone unconditionally — even yourself.

5. THE CORNUCOPIA CENTER. When your consciousness is illuminated by this Center, you experience the friendliness of the world you are creating. You begin to realize that you’ve always lived in a perfect world. To the degree that you still have addictions, the perfection lies in giving you the experience you need to get free of your emotion-backed demands. As you reprogram your addictions, the perfection will be experienced as a continuous enjoyment of the here and now in your life. As you become more loving and accepting, the world becomes a “horn of plenty” that gives you more than you need to be happy.

6. THE CONSClOUS-AWARENESS CENTER. It is liberating to have a Center from which your Conscious-awareness watches your body and mind perform on the lower five centers. This is a meta-center from which you non-judgmentally witness the drama of your body and mind. From this Center of Centers, you learn to impartially observe your social roles and life games from a place that is free from fear and vulnerability.

7. THE COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS CENTER. When you live fully in the Sixth Center of Consciousness, you are ready to transcend self-awareness and become pure awareness. At this ultimate level, you are one with everything — you are love, peace, energy, beauty, wisdom, clarity, effectiveness, and oneness. 

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Κυριακή, 15 Ιανουαρίου 2017






Yes, in this article we’re going to answer this question for you – what does it mean to shift from 3D consciousness into the 5th dimension? Some people say this shift is like a massive update to your entire operating system. Yes, and it feels like upgrading from human consciousness 3.0 to galactic consciousness 12.0. Well, this means that when we are ready to move beyond the 3rd dimension, we must go through the 4th dimension before we can enter the 5th. The 4th acts much like a purifying filter, for it is the realm of the heart that is filled with love, oneness and lightness. The 5th dimension is an even lighter in frequency, having a more pure love, cosmic consciousness and a true multi-dimensional reality. And, remember – we will be inside this photon belt of energy for the next 2000 years, causing a massive shift in consciousness for the entire humanity.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, everyone on our planet will be shifting from 3D consciousness into a 5th Dimensional “enlightened reality”. The shift will be bringing humanity into the Aquarian age of being one unified harmonious world working together in peace. It will occur as a very slow digestible rate that is easy to assimilate and integrate. There are 7 basic signs that will show you’re entering the 5th dimension. The cool aspect is that these signs happen for everyone. There are many more wild multi-dimensional experiences that will naturally occur for you during your shift from 3D to 5D, yet these 7 signs are guaranteed across the board. If you are willing to remain in trust, love and surrender to your highest self you will naturally ascend and open yourself up to experiencing the 5th Dimensional consciousness with joy and effortless ease. And, one more thing – don’t take the shift too seriously! Just have fun and remember this is all a massive play of consciousness here for our individual and collective awakenings.

1. Daily life will be bubbling more often with feelings of great joy, lightness, love and wonder

The 4th and 5th dimensions will provide an upgrade in your operating software and DNA hardware. It’s just like your mind-body will be offered to work inside the newest fastest computer that operates smoothly at the speed of light!  This process will help if you reboot it (meditate, exercise and go raw/vegetarian diet) which will make your body and mind much more stable, expansive, have a sharp creative mind, clear memory, and make your overall life much easier to operate. Yes, and you’ll be open to trusting the constant effortless flow of life in each moment.  A real feeling of wonder and excitement will be inside you about your life, as this natural lightness will help you to greet new opportunities with real love and gratitude each moment.

2. Heavy negative issues you’re carrying will release easier and move through you more quickly

Everyone is here to do their work of learning the lessons their soul came here to learn. And, you must learn how to let go, drop your negativity, smallness, powerlessness, incompetency, and poverty consciousness.  You will be releasing all your old heavy baggage you’ve been carrying for lifetimes!  This is the only way you can enter into these higher vibrational 4D and 5D levels that are full of trust, lightness, laughter and love. Instead of it taking months or years in psychotherapy for your karma to dissolve it will take minutes or seconds! It’s like the Universe will be turning up the velocity on your inner juicer and turning your dense heavy substances (thought feelings) removing the pulp, keeping the essential nutrients and giving you a more enlightened experience of life that feels like liquid light!

3. You will physically experience the world as being more beautiful with your senses

You’ll notice that the colors of the world will look brighter, stronger! Yes, and you’ll see a wider spectrum of colors, that may appear like rainbow ‘hippie’ colors. When you’re more emotional the colors are even more beautiful and have a happy vibration to them.  When you meet people who are living in the 5th as well, can bring up such a deep happiness inside they could bring tears of joy to your eyes. You will be able to hear the divine song of creation, the music of the spheres, the eternal OM, and the sound of silence.  You can attune your listening to an orchestra of light that is constantly playing in the background, bringing tears of joy to your heart.

4. Time will feel fluid, eternal and illusory

Time will feel fluid and you’ll move like water from one event and life experience to the next.  There will be no judgment or ill feelings about how or why things are done the way they are done. You will realize that you are not the doer, and that things are being done through you. The 3D view of time will seem pointless and like kindergarten consciousness as you’ll understand that there is no end to this life.  You’ll know you are an eternal being who cannot die and is all powerful.  You’ll realize that when your life in this body is over, you will continue to live on and on forever.  You will know this without any doubt.

5. You’ll constantly have unexplainable synchronistic experiences and “miraculous” manifestations will happen regularly.

You’ll experience amazing synchronicities – almost every day.   The Universe will be speaking to you constantly, giving you “signs” on where to go and what to do.  It will feel like you are on a miraculous journey through a magical world and anything is possible! When your third eye is fully open, you will start to see through this 3D dimension and into the 4th and 5th. This means you may start seeing lights, portals or layers of energy in the sky or perhaps right across your kitchen table.  As the veil between dimensions gets thinner you will see more and more of what is really around you. Science and spirituality will truly become one and you will have full and total understanding of how it all works as you will be merged with the oneness of all things.  By practicing listening to your guides on the higher realms, you’ll be able to know anything about anyone at anytime.

6. You will know and feel divinely guided by something higher than your own mind/imagination

Your mind will begin to quiet, which means that you’ll be able to hear your guidance from the other dimensions.  This may be from angelic guides, spirit guides, past ancestors, or beings on a higher plane showing you the way home.  As you tune into this, you will soon realize that you have many beings in higher dimensions that are around you helping you all the time.  Whoever you connect with you will feel extremely supported, safe, secure as the frequency on the planet will be soooooo high that no lower dark energies will be able to survive here.  You will be able to trust 100% in the connect and experiences you have.

7. You can access the miraculous powers of your true multi-dimensional body

Because time and space are illusions, and all matter is energy and consciousness, and you are made of the same stuff as everything around you, you’ll be able1 to manifest the most amazing things with your mind. You will be able to learn how to pass your hand through a solid surface, physically levitate above the ground, move objects with your mind, bi-locate, be in 3 or more places at the same time, and basically anything that you can imagine you will be able to experience. Advanced beings will assist you and even help you to time travel with your body to other worlds and dimensions.  You will enter into the sphere of your existence which means that you’ll be able to jump into any event in your life, past or future instantly and experience whatever it is you wish to experience.

Source: in5d.com
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Πέμπτη, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2017






I began to understand that suffering and disappointments and melancholy are there not to vex us or cheapen us or deprive us of our dignity but to mature and transfigure us.  ~ H. Hesse

The sensitive, the complex, the internally restless … If there was one type of person in life that could embody all of these three elements, it would be the Mature Souls of the world.

Mature Souls are the diplomats of this planet, the introspective self-explorers, the existential idealists, the angsty artists and the humanitarian environmentalists.  If you can identify with any of these groups of people, you are most likely a Mature Soul.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD AND MATURE SOULS

While Mature Souls feel an innate sense of disconnection from the elementary, infantile and materialistic views held by other Soul Ages, they feel less at peace than Old Souls do due to their inner turmoil.  This may be because Mature Souls are still in the process of transition from the external world to the internal world, the material world to the spiritual world, and the physical world to the psychological world.

As a result, Mature Souls feel a lot of confusion, displacement and uneasiness in their lives, seeking to reconcile their deeper inner dreams, beliefs and values with their personal, interpersonal and global perceptions of the world.

Just as each Soul Age, or level of conscious evolution, transitions into the next, so too can the Mature Soul share a variety of characteristics with both Young Soul attitudes, as well as Old Soul mentalities.

Living life as a Mature Soul can certainly be challenging and isolating, but there are many of us out there who share the same journey.  So if you think you may be a Mature Soul, read the signs below!

1.  YOU ASK DEEP QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE.

“Why am I here?”, “What happens after death?”, “Am I being authentic to my life purpose?”, “How can I truly find my life calling?”  Such are the types of questions asked by Mature Souls in an attempt to understand the truth of their lives, and existence as a whole.  Many Mature Souls spend large amounts of their lives pursuing the answers to such complex questions.

2.  YOU CRAVE SELF-EXPRESSION.

To live an authentic life, self-expression is not only important, but vital for Mature Souls.  Whether through artistic, humanitarian, philosophical, environmental, spiritual or other types of pursuits, Mature Souls must express their deeper, inner passions and callings.  Otherwise, without this freedom, Mature Souls feel empty, depressed or caged in.

3.  YOU TEND TO BE A PACIFIST.

Due to their sensitive natures, Mature Souls rarely support violence, warfare or hostility of any kind, whether inter-personally or inter-racially.  For this reason, they rarely get involved in career paths that involve conflict (e.g. law, politics, navy, army, air force, etc.)

4.  YOU ARE HIGHLY COMPASSIONATE.

Mature Souls are often deeply caring people who are disturbed by the pain and suffering of others.  “Your misfortune is my misfortune” is usually an unspoken feeling many Mature Souls carry, and often this leads to the development of Empathic abilities throughout their lifetimes.  The ability to feel and experience what other living beings do often adds to their internal conflict.

5.  YOU TEND TO BE MOODY.

Still identifying closely with their thoughts and feelings, Mature Souls tend to be moody and changeable due to their inability to detach themselves from their ever-changing emotional landscapes.  Mature Souls are still in the process of learning awareness of what is, acceptance of what was, and non-identification with their transient emotions.

6.  YOU PURSUE KNOWLEDGE FOR ITS OWN SAKE.

It’s uncommon for Mature Souls to gain high qualifications, diplomas and other certifications merely for monetary or social status incentives.  Rather, Mature Souls love to educate themselves to improve, extend and deepen their understanding of other people, the universe and most essentially, themselves. As existential confusion and a sense of “not feeling at ease” constantly plagues the Mature Soul, seeking out knowledge is one of the most favored ways this Soul Age soothes their inner discomfort.  Many Mature Souls are avid readers or autodidacts for this reason.

7.  YOU ALWAYS FEEL AS THOUGH YOU ARE “SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING”.

This elusive and pervasive feeling drives a lot of the Mature Soul’s pursuits in life.  “Who am I really?”, “What will make me happy and whole?”, “How can I feel fulfilled?”  In essence, the Mature Soul feels a constant sense of discontentment and restlessness in their lives.  Most are trying to find what, if anything, will make them happy, whole and filled with that mythical sense of inner peace many proclaim to have attained.

8.  YOU ARE OPEN-MINDED.

Rarely ever dogmatic or straight-laced, Mature Souls are the free spirits and free thinkers of the world who will often explore many different paths in life in an attempt to find themselves and understand the universe.  Many Mature Souls drift for large periods of their lives back and forth between various lifestyles, spiritual traditions and social movements.  Very little is off-limits to them.

9.  YOU ARE PRONE TO EXCESSIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS.

Mature Souls are highly complex people, still learning the best ways to juggle and reconcile the inner and outer worlds, the mundane with the sacred and the meaningless with the meaningful.  Their highly sensitive natures, for this reason, are prone to mental, emotional and sensory overload which can result in a variety of psychological stresses and illnesses (e.g. chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, etc.)  Unfortunately, this can also lead to drug and alcohol problems for those who don’t learn the appropriate coping mechanisms, as ways to mask their unresolved pain. However, for those who have learnt ways to deal with psychological stress, these Mature Souls often enter the counseling and psychology fields with great success.

10.  YOU VALUE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS.

A warm and supportive family, a loyal and tender friend, an attentive and gentle lover – such is what Mature Souls highly value in life: someone to deeply connect with.  This is also what tends to create a lot of strife in the Mature Soul’s life if they are unable to find or establish such harmonious bonds.  Nevertheless, the Mature Soul cares greatly about others, and so craves for others to treat them in the same manner.

11.  YOU ARE AN INTENSE PERSON.

Whether mentally or emotionally (or both), Mature Souls are rarely ever the phlegmatic, frigid or apathetic people of life.  Rather, their inner angst often fuels their social interactions and personal pursuits.  Thus, the Mature Soul may come across as being overly earnest, passionate or even forcible in their daily lives.  Their intensity makes them excellent activists, artists, and writers.

***

Although complex and moody, Mature Souls like Old Souls often feel older than their age reflects, seeking for meaning, purpose and wholeness in life.

ABOUT ALETHEIA LUNA
As a healer, mystic and soulwork teacher, my mission is helping you to reconnect with your soul so that you can live a life of meaning, joy, and fulfillment. Read More →

Source: lonerwolf.com
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Τετάρτη, 11 Ιανουαρίου 2017






Have you ever felt as though your sense of awareness was outside of your physical body? That you were looking back at yourself from another place in the same room? If so, you’ve probably had an out-of-body experience (OBE). But not all OBEs are the same.

Research suggests OBEs are more common than one might think, with around 10% of the population having reported at least one such experience in their lifetime.

Some people experience their usual physical surroundings from a different spatial perspective; others report travelling out of their body to imaginary dream realms.

A sense of leaving one’s body

My colleagues and I last year conducted a study examining the potential differences in accounts of out-of-body experiences.

We explored 194 responses from individuals who had claimed to have had an OBE. In particular, we conducted statistical analyses to determine potential differences in the type, or “quality” of experiences reported.

We asked a number of questions, summarised as follows, about the specific features of OBEs reported by participants:

  • Can you bring about an out-of-body experience at will or by intention?
  • During your prior out-of-body experiences did you have a distinct sensation of leaving your body?
  • Did you have a sensation of coming back to your body at the end of the experience?
  • How would you describe your surroundings during your previous out-of-body experience(s) (realistic or imaginary)?

The results indicated that people who reported spontaneous OBEs did not commonly have a distinct sense of floating out of their body. In fact, such individuals typically found themselves spontaneously “out-of-body” and looking back at themselves from a different place in the same room.

But those people who had claimed to predominantly induce their own out-of-body experiences also reported sensing a distinct physical sensation of separation from their body.

Induced or spontaneous?

Induced experiences can be defined as those in which a person wilfully brings about an OBE. These can be produced via meditation, self-hypnosis, visualisation and other techniques involving body perception.

Induced OBEs can also be triggered in a laboratory, including with the aid of perceptual illusions or clinical hypnosis.

For our research, we were more interested in autonomously-induced experiences – that is, OBEs participants reported bringing on themselves.

I believe research along these lines is important as it differentiates between types (or qualities) of OBEs. If you have ever had such an experience, you might recall particular features of your own body perception and aspects of the environment during the experience.

Given experiences appear to differ broadly, based on individual accounts, we can ask: which factors might predict the type of OBE someone is more prone to have?

Interestingly, there have been a plethora of studies into factors that may cause OBEs, but few that have considered differences between types of OBEs.

We believe we have successfully demonstrated there are differences between spontaneous and induced OBEs – namely, the distinct sense of “body separation” experienced by people who have induced their OBEs, and the absence of such a sensation for people who experience spontaneous OBEs.

There may be more differences between these types of OBEs, and that’s what we must look at next.

Have you ever had a spontaneous or an induced out-of-body experience? Or both? Share your reflections about your experience(s) below.

The Conversation
Alexander De Foe, PhD Candidate, Psychological Studies, Monash University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
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Τρίτη, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2017





Visiting Fellow, Drexel University

An increasing number of studies into the correlation between social media and narcissistic tendencies confirm what many of us already suspect. We see teenagers spending hour after hour with their phones looking at Facebook, consumed with how they present themselves online and how others respond to their profiles. We read about self-obsessed celebrities promoting themselves on Twitter, even when they appear to be in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Narcissism on social media runs across the spectrum of users.

But it is interesting how the correlation varies between different sites. In a study we conducted on users of Facebook and Twitter, published in Computers in Human Behaviour, we wanted to understand how social media reflected or amplified narcissism. We measured this by asking questions about usage and personality assessments that revealed different narcissistic traits such as exhibitionism, superiority and authority.

We found some young adult university students who had scored higher in certain types of narcissism posted more often on Twitter. But those with narcissistic tendencies in middle-aged adults from the general population tended to post more frequently on Facebook. We concluded that those in middle age had usually already formed their social selves, and used Facebook to gain approval from their peers whereas narcissistic university students used Twitter to broadcast views to broader social circles.

Share and share a “like”

Studies also suggest a link between the amount of time spent on Facebook and the likelihood of showing narcissistic traits, in particular exhibitionism. However, the frequency with which users post status updates is a better predictor and so a less simplistic measure. We can also begin to dig deeper - if posting frequency is linked to narcissistic traits then it’s important to determine whether this applies to any kind of posting (like linking to a news story) or only postings related to one’s own thoughts, feelings, and accomplishments.

Future research would also determine whether narcissists differ from others in their expectations of how others respond to their posts. For those who receive many comments or “likes” on a picture or status update, frequent posting can be a means of conversation. If you’re a narcissist, how does it affect you if you post but don’t receive any feedback?

Research recently carried out at Penn State University also suggests that how we behave in social media reflects our levels of self-esteem. Participants were asked questioned about the types of personal data they included on their profiles, how often they changed and updated information and how they saw their self-worth. From this the researchers suggest that users with lower self-esteem continuously monitor their walls and delete unwanted posts from other users. From a practical perspective, the researchers suggest that app developers could develop ways of customising walls and profile pages to tap into these concerns.

Measure for measure

Social media use has developed over the years. So there is a risk in this type of research of producing fragmentary evidence that doesn’t add up to anything meaningful. And the more specific a measure is (measuring Facebook “pokes”, for instance), the more likely the practice that is being measured is to fall out of use, leading research to become inscrutable to future readers (what, exactly, did it mean to “poke” someone?).

Instead we need to consider the bigger picture by analysing attributes and behaviours that stick around long after the latest iteration of the most popular social media site has vanished. No one may be poking or tweeting ten years from now, but it’s a relatively safe bet that people will post information about themselves and their accomplishments with varying frequency and with various expectations about their audiences.

Moral panic

Some have responded to critiques of social media by likening it to the overblown “moral panics” over the effect of comic books and television on children. A common defence of social media (and media generally) is that its use is merely an extension of existing behaviour. Teenagers of yesteryear congregated in parking lots; today, they congregate online.

This outlook is productive because it helps us to avoid an irrational bias in favour of face-to-face interaction and against all things digital. However, it fails to acknowledge how certain attributes of online life – immediate gratification, the expanded audience – may fundamentally change how we interact and develop as human beings. Keeping on eye on the relationships between social media use and psychological traits such as narcissism helps us know whether certain kinds of online socialising strengthen our social fabric while other kinds divide us further.

More than a billion people now have Facebook accounts and we know that social media use is associated with desirable things such as increasing social support. It also appears to help those who are shy form meaningful relationships. But we have to understand the good and the bad.

Research findings on narcissism and social media use should help us fill in some of the missing pieces about how we are developing relationships and interacting in a digital age. We still don’t know whether social media itself causes increases in narcissism, if narcissists merely seek out social media, or if both form a kind of vicious cycle. The rapid, widespread adoption of any technology is oft met with the dual responses of fear and claims of exaggeration. Understanding the limitations of findings - and the benefits - is the best way to separate knowledge from controversy.

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