Are You A Frequent User Of Facebook And Twitter? You Might Be A Narcissist

woman looking into mirror at herself

For me, Facebook is where I filter things. My mom and grandparents are all “friends” with me on the site, so I would really hate for them to see a profanity-laden status update. On Twitter though, anything goes, and I’m free to let the world know what I truly think.

In a study that shocks no one, researchers at the University of Michigan linked frequent social media use to narcissism. Researchers Elliot Panek, Sara Konrath and Yioryos Nardis published their study online in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Panek reports that age does matter in which social media platform you use. “Among young adult college students, we found that those who scored higher in certain types of narcissism posted more often on Twitter.”

Young adults want a megaphone to broadcast their opinion online, and Twitter serves that purpose.
“Young people may over evaluate the importance of their own opinions,” says Panek.

It’s true: tweets can be composed often and quickly sent out, and nothing amplifies an opinion like a clogged Twitter feed. A tweet is something I think about briefly and send without a second thought. A Facebook status requires at least some deliberation in my head.

Many middle-aged folks use social media quite differently. The study found that most older adults have already formed their social identities, so they use Facebook to simply increase the popularity of their opinions.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project did a study last year on the demographics of social media users. Sixty-seven percent of Internet users were on social media, and all of those people were on Facebook. While Twitter only made up 16 percent of Internet users, it was more appealing to adults aged 18 to 29.

Michigan University’s study may just be showing that Twitter users are younger than the average Facebook user. The study eventually concluded that there was no specific link between using social media and becoming more narcissistic. It could only find that there were differences between the way narcissistic adults and college students used social media.

Sure, social media does make people more narcissistic. I will spend hours constantly rechecking my Facebook profile for new notifications and updates, nervously awaiting people to like my statuses. Facebook, as much as anything, is a status symbol, and we all want to be elite.

Now you can go retweet and share this article on your profile. Will you keep checking your likes and favorites? You know you’ll do it. We’re all inner narcissists online.