How to Explain Narcissism and Echo Chambers To A Child
Many, many years ago, Ike was the biggest and brightest fish in a tiny bowl.
The few other fish around him told him everyday, “Ike, YOU are the biggest and brightest fish in the bowl.”
“Well, yes I am indeed” he replieds as his chest puffed up with pride.
Some more fish were placed in the bowl. Some of them were as big and as bright as Ike and came from exotic places from the sea. They had interesting stories to tell. Ike didn’t want to hear their stories. He told the other fish, “They are lying!” Those things can’t be true. I've been outside of this bowl and that's not what it's like!" The truth was that he had only jumped out of the bowl a few times and flopped around on the floor for a little while. The other fish said, “Don’t worry, Ike, You’re still the biggest and the brightest fish in the bowl.”
Pretty soon, the tiny bowl was replaced with a slightly larger one and more fish were added.Ike shouted with a big pompous voice, “I’m the biggest fish in this bowl!” The echo of his angry voice bounced off the edges of the bowl until many of the fish believed it. Especially the original fish.
As time went by, Ike’s colors began to fade, the bowl got bigger and beautiful, exotic fish from all over the world moved in. They didn’t even notice Ike. This made him bitter and sad. He continued to tell his original circle of fish that he was indeed still the biggest and the brightest fish in the bowl. He told them bad things about the newer, brighter fish because deep down he knew he was no longer the biggest and brightest fish in the bowl. He thought that if he made the original fish think badly of the new, beautiful, exotic fish, then they would stay loyal to him and believe everything he said.
Sadly, some did believe poor ole Ike because they were trusting of what was in their bowl and fearful of what was outside of it. They never had the opportunity to learn about the rest of the world and to get to know these new lovely fish.