Land o’ Likes

As you may recall, I am not a fan of Facebook, fearing it has become a major encourager of self-involvement. Confirmation of my concern comes from a study reported by Damien Pearse in the Guardian which finds “a direct relationship between Facebook friends and the most ‘toxic’ elements of narcissistic personality disorder,” including “self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies.”

Further evidence that Facebook encourages relationships that are more superficial than real comes from a story in the New York Times about a therapist who committed suicide not long ago. One of his associates observed, “I looked at his Facebook page recently … he had over a thousand friends. But there are acquaintances and there are friends, and I think he probably had a lot of acquaintances and not a lot of real friends.”

Charles Peters

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.