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How Social Media Makes People Narcissists

selfie culture also causes the proliferation of excessive posting on social media sites/ Photo By VGstockstudio via Shutterstock

 

The emergence of social media has many advantages and benefits to the current generation. It connects people from every side of the world without a sweat and it sometimes promotes confidence and self-acceptance as social media users post their photos proudly and let the world see their beauty. Although most people’s social media use is non-problematic, a small number of users appear to engage in social media excessively and/or compulsively.

The rise of selfie culture also causes the proliferation of excessive posting on social media sites. The obsession that many teens have with sharing their lives and faces on social media has led some psychologists to believe that this generation is growing up to be narcissists.

Science Daily also published on their online site that researchers from Swansea University conducted a study which proves that social media has a connection with how people developed their narcissistic behavior by obsessively posting their photos or selfies on their social media accounts. However, people who use Twitter more often were less likely to display narcissistic personality than those who use Facebook and Instagram.

The selfie culture

 

The explosion of social media has led to many cultural, social, and economic changes. A 2008 study on narcissism and Facebook found evidence that more narcissistic individuals were more self-promoting on Facebook and had more “friends”. According to Irish Examiner, people who excessively put their time on social media to post their photos or other media tend to have an increased chance of having a narcissistic personality. This increase in the number

Likewise, Independent UK, mentioned in their online article that problems arises about internet usage when it negatively impacts someone’s life and disrupts their normal life by interfering with their relationship with other people around them. Narcissists have the compulsion to tell absolutely everyone about every little thing they do. They want to paint a picture that their life is greater than anybody around them which makes the people around them to be annoyed with their personality. Narcissist people will try to sugarcoat and pretend that their life is good in order for them to gain attention from more people.

Studies on human behavior showed that a larger number of friends with the fact that narcissists prefer weak ties, or shallow connections, and like to win Facebook friends as trophies. Another possible explanation could be that narcissistic people are typically extroverted -- according to a meta-analysis of 62 studies on social media and narcissism which was recently published.

Self-obsession and social media

The use of social media is harmless but the obsession to have a perfect image could be dangerous. News about a teenager named Danny Bowman who attempted suicide because he wasn’t satisfied with the quality of his selfies has alarmed many people especially psychology experts and concerned citizens on the growing number of social media and selfie addicts, who are willing to do anything just to gain popularity on the internet.

Selfie addiction is a new pathology, often related to past bullying and low self-esteem. Psychiatrists are beginning to consider the compulsion to take selfies as a serious mental health problem. The narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. People with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they are higher being and they have less empathy for people. 

Despite the lack of conclusive evidence on a causal link between the two, it is clear that heavy use of Facebook and other social media platforms is highlighting the narcissistic behaviors in people of all ages. The sheer volume of social media sites and accessibility of teens to the internet and mobile devices presents a challenge for parents looking to limit this type of behavior in their children.

heavy use of Facebook and other social media platforms is highlighting the narcissistic behaviors in people of all ages/ Photo By baranq via Shutterstock

 

The youth of social media

 

The rise in levels of narcissism among millennials together with the increased usage of social networking sites raises the question of whether there is a connection between the two factors. Studies show that the levels of subclinical narcissism or the personality trait that all normal individuals possess to a certain degree have increased worldwide since the 1970s. Self-esteem is rapidly rising too, according to data published in the Review of General Psychology, 80% of American students scored higher in self-esteem in 2006 than the generation from 1988.

In another study, researchers found out that students who use Facebook more throughout the day are more prone to mental health problems and tend to be sick more often than peers who use social media frequently. Narcissism is not like other forms of personality disorder. Narcissists may be unpleasant to be around, but they don’t actually cause any harm. It’s become a such a common trait that many narcissists move in the same circles, and so it gains an element of normality about it.

 

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