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  #1  
Old 08-31-2010, 03:28 PM
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Default Facebook Feeds Narcissism

An interesting, albeit not surprising, study on Facebook and people's habits.

Personally, its a "Well Duh!" article.


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Facebook feeds narcissism, survey says

In a rather small survey conducted by a young psychologist, Facebook was shown to have some interesting correlations with self-esteem and narcissism in young adults.

In a survey of 100 college students, young people with narcissistic personality traits were shown to exhibit Facebook activity that was distinctly more self-promotional.

These people had "About Me" sections that referred to their intelligence and photos that were more about displaying the user's physical attractiveness than about capturing memories with friends.

Narcissism is defined in the survey, by a researcher at York University in Toronto, Canada, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance."

For the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication." More importantly for this study, social networking in general allows the user a great deal of control over how he or she is presented to and perceived by peers and other users.

The study postulated that narcissists would show more overall Facebook activity than average users and that their activity would be more self-promotional, either descriptively or superficially.

The survey's results showed "significant positive correlations between narcissism and self-promotional content in the following areas: Main Photo, View Photos , Status Updates and Notes."

People who scored higher on the study's narcissism test also spent more time on Facebook and checked it more times each day than their less narcissistic counterparts.

Male narcissists were more self-promotional in their "About Me" descriptions, using this section as an opportunity to highlight their intelligence and wit.

Female users with narcissistic tendencies tended to use images in their self-promotion, uploading content that "include[d] revealing, flashy and adorned photos of their physical appearance."

The researcher notes that this study is intended to be a preliminary look at nonynous social networking, a fairly new field for academic scrutiny.

As we abandon the fake avatars and cryptic usernames of years past and begin associating our online identities with our real-world lives, our online activities begin to have more relevance to our true personality traits.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:49 PM
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Article
For the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication."
I'd argue that Facebook does exactly this for everyone, not just narcissists.

The Internet is for pron and for developing superficial acquaintences.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Crispin's Crispian View Post
I'd argue that Facebook does exactly this for everyone, not just narcissists.

The Internet is for pron and for developing superficial acquaintences.
Theoryland being the obvious exception to the rule, I guess...

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:54 PM
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Default um...not quite?

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Originally Posted by Crispin's Crispian View Post
The Internet is for pron and for developing superficial acquaintences.
Respectfully I'd disagree. I know plenty of people who have not-so-superficial relationships who met online and who, save for events occurring every couple of years, don't see each other. I also know people who have met their spouses online and have been happily married for years.

It is my opinion that the internet is a tool for connections. Facebook and similar sites focus their efforts on connecting people with people. As a tool, it all in how you use it.

To put it another way: How different is the stone chisel you can buy at your local hardware store from the chisel Michelangelo used to carve David?
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:07 PM
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That just makes me wonder if there's a museum employee somewhere whose job it is to track down and verify the providence of famous brushes and chisels.

Worst. Exhibit. Ever.
  #7  
Old 08-31-2010, 11:00 PM
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*sigh*

Waits for Narcissistic Personality Disorder to become the new pet diagnosis.

Oh well...better than Borderline.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:11 PM
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Well there are stages of natural development that are for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from narcissism, once at late toddlerhood and again during the teenage years. There aren't all that many toddlers on facebook yet but plenty of teenagers use it. Like the OP said, it would be more surprising if they didn't display signs of narcissism. It's only a disorder if they don't grow out of it eventually.
  #9  
Old 08-31-2010, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nameless View Post
Well there are stages of natural development that are for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from narcissism, once at late toddlerhood and again during the teenage years. There aren't all that many toddlers on facebook yet but plenty of teenagers use it. Like the OP said, it would be more surprising if they didn't display signs of narcissism. It's only a disorder if they don't grow out of it eventually.
The author said everything right - particularly the words "narcissistic traits." Everyone, literally, displays traits associated with personality disorders - even though relatively few people actually have them.

My worry is that the audience reading that piece - particularly teenage Facebook idiots (as differentiated from wise old middle-agers like myself) are going to read that and decide that anyone who has a glamor shot or 1000 friends on Facebook has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and then go around trashing that person - in the way that only teenagers can do - all over the place:

"Wow...yannow, Jane, like, totally has Narcissistic disorder. YEAH, rilly! I read, like, this article that, like, this scientist-guy wrote and he, like, totally said that if you, like, have a hot picture and, like, a ton of friends then you are, like, totally Narcissistic. And well...go look at Jane's Facebook. I totally knew she was, like, a total bitch. YEAH. She's totally a slut, too."
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2010, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Alanna Alai View Post
Respectfully I'd disagree. I know plenty of people who have not-so-superficial relationships who met online and who, save for events occurring every couple of years, don't see each other. I also know people who have met their spouses online and have been happily married for years.

It is my opinion that the internet is a tool for connections. Facebook and similar sites focus their efforts on connecting people with people. As a tool, it all in how you use it.

To put it another way: How different is the stone chisel you can buy at your local hardware store from the chisel Michelangelo used to carve David?
psst... they're being funny. There are 5 current and 3 or 4 ex-couples who met on this board... that I know off the top of my head. It's early in the morning, I might have skipped someone But it's not all about coupledom, we have been known to send each other Christmas cards, lend books across oceans and take in a fellow TL-er if in need.

Also, on topic, if you're posting a picture of yourself, it doesn't make sense to broadcast just any old picture for everyone on the planet to see. Everyone wants to hide their flaws and emphasise their merits, it's perfectly normal. But I suppose the study was looking for repeated instances - and while the results werent' all that shocking, we can now say that it is scientifically proven that Facebook enables (encourages? draws out?) narcissistic behaviour.
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2010, 06:51 AM
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psst... they're being funny. There are 5 current and 3 or 4 ex-couples who met on this board...
hmm...
Uno and Moonie
Bryan and Gil
you and Dai
Cary and Zan
...? (maybe I will be embarrassed when I am reminded)

I can only think of three 'ex-couples' though I gathered that they were more fling-type things.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
hmm...
Uno and Moonie
Bryan and Gil
you and Dai
Cary and Zan
...? (maybe I will be embarrassed when I am reminded)

I can only think of three 'ex-couples' though I gathered that they were more fling-type things.
that 5th one I only know via gossip so I'm not 100% sure; plus, if they're not that open about it here, I'm not going to say

ex-whatever-they-were. personal relationships that might have been serious.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
psst... they're being funny. There are 5 current and 3 or 4 ex-couples who met on this board... that I know off the top of my head. It's early in the morning, I might have skipped someone But it's not all about coupledom, we have been known to send each other Christmas cards, lend books across oceans and take in a fellow TL-er if in need.

Also, on topic, if you're posting a picture of yourself, it doesn't make sense to broadcast just any old picture for everyone on the planet to see. Everyone wants to hide their flaws and emphasise their merits, it's perfectly normal. But I suppose the study was looking for repeated instances - and while the results werent' all that shocking, we can now say that it is scientifically proven that Facebook enables (encourages? draws out?) narcissistic behaviour.
The bolded part is kindof why I worry about things like this being misinterpreted. There is no proof of anything, as this was not (and could not be) a controlled study. It therefore cannot be interpreted to "prove" any kind of causality (i.e. Facebook causes narcissitic behavior). All that can be inferred from the study is that there is some degree of correlation between certain posting behaviors on Facebook and the presence of certain traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

To further illustrate the point, many of the traits associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are also shared with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is entirely likely that this study could be replicated to show a similar (perhaps slightly lower correlation) relationship to Borderline Personality Disorder. So....Facebook draws out Borderline people?

Even scarier, Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka psychopaths/serial killers) ALSO shares a set of traits with Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Again the study could be replicated to show (again lower) a similar relationship to the behaviors and Antisocial Personality Disorders. So...Facebook draws out serial killers!

Now we are all worried about serial killers targetting us on Facebook. Which means we all have Paranoid Personality Disorder.

Mindfuck complete.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:03 AM
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that 5th one I only know via gossip so I'm not 100% sure; plus, if they're not that open about it here, I'm not going to say

ex-whatever-they-were. personal relationships that might have been serious.
I don't know that #5 is a secret, it's just not the sum total of what they are. But given that I've had dinner with them recently...trust when i say that there's a number 5.

As for the ones that didn't last, I'd say at least 1 of them wasn't a fling at all - just didn't work out. Shrug.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:16 AM
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I love you Ish! you always know the best stuff...

of the 4 that I was thinking of, 2 were serious, and 2 were flings. And that's only during the time I've been here... so there might have been more
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:19 AM
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Idiots will be idiots, Facebook or not. It just allows them to inflict their idiocy on others.


Theoryland isn't a social networking site. And the majority of us older members have gone out of our way to visit each other and help each other out.

Hell, we rent a room to Birgitte while she finishes college.


As for the couples.... I can safely say I know who each is and was and .... that's all I'm saying.

But the married couples are Uno and Moonshadow, Bryan and me, Zan and Cary. Yks and Dai'shan might as well be married.

The current "oh-my-god-they're-so-adorable-give-me-an-airsick-bag" couple is .... nevermind.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:25 AM
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Theoryland isn't a social networking site. And the majority of us older members have gone out of our way to visit each other and help each other out.
see, that's exactly what I meant. There's a reason why you're a writer. Much better with words! Although, gotta say, even though I've been hanging out here for over 6 years, I sometimes still don't consider myself as one of the "old guard"
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:48 AM
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My new favorite expression is one I have heard 3 or 4 times since saturday.

Moral Narcissisism. It was mostly used in reference to the Emmys by some gossip chick show person my wife watches. Then I heard it on CNN yesterday and I figured it was the new expression of the month.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
My new favorite expression is one I have heard 3 or 4 times since saturday.

Moral Narcissisism. It was mostly used in reference to the Emmys by some gossip chick show person my wife watches. Then I heard it on CNN yesterday and I figured it was the new expression of the month.

Ooh! Ooh! I wanna be trendy for once.....what's it mean?
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:59 AM
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Ooh! Ooh! I wanna be trendy for once.....what's it mean?
If I remember right, this chick was saying that driving to the awards show in a Prius, after flying from wherever you came from and then having an entourage fire up the house or renting a whole entire floor at a five star was moral narcissism.

I've been using it every chance I get. My wife if a horribly morally narcissistic. So is my 4 yr old son. So are people who have "coexist" stickers and "13.1" stickers and people who cut me off in traffic, and people who wear long sleeves in the summer, and people who jog in populated areas, and people who ride in huge pelotons on back roads and hold up traffic for miles.

All moral narcissists. It's so freeing to use.
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