Monday, 19 March 2012
Do you have lots of friends on Facebook? If you do, research in the US is suggesting that it may be an indication of how narcissistic you are. It seems Narcissistic Personality people have more friends on Facebook, tag themselves more often and update their newsfeeds more regularly, respond more aggressively to derogatory wall comments made about them and change their profile pictures more often. They also claim that young people are obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships,
This isn’t the first time psychology studies have linked Facebook and narcissism, but it is some of the first evidence of two "socially disruptive" elements of narcissism – grandiose exhibitionism (GE) and entitlement/exploitativeness (EE).
GE includes ''self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies" and people who score high on this aspect of narcissism need to be constantly at the centre of attention. They often say shocking things and inappropriately self-disclose because they cannot stand to be ignored or waste a chance of self-promotion.
The EE aspect includes "a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others".
Unfortunately, the greater the number of friends on Facebook, the higher someone scored on aspects of GE.
Carol Craig, a social scientist and chief executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, said young people in Britain were becoming increasingly narcissistic and Facebook provided a platform for the disorder.
Another researcher added a touch of reassurance by adding it was difficult to be certain whether individual differences in narcissism led to certain patterns of Facebook behaviour, or whether patterns of Facebook behaviour led to individual differences in narcissism.
It is amazing these days what psychologists actually do research, and we’d all better beware of adding friend after friend to our Facebook pages. Who knows what it might say about us to these tricky psychologists? I don’t know how many friends I have. Must remember to check next time I’m over there.
On a more normal note, our little pond has had frogspawn in it for a couple of weeks now. I have a photograph of three frogs clutched together in a sort of orgiastic ball, but am not sure how well it (they?) will show up on screen. Could be a trifle off-putting for some!