How To Spot Narcissist On Social Media
We’ve all had those irritating Facebook pals who can’t seem to quit sharing selfies. They establish a check-in status as soon as they cross the threshold of a place, and they never fail to tell us whether they are “excited” or “relaxed” there. We eventually block such individuals, but aren’t we all like that at times? Psychologists warn that narcissistic, self-exposing conduct is on the rise, and many attribute this to social media.
A contemporary epidemic
According to studies, levels of subclinical narcissism-or the personality characteristic that all normal people exhibit to some extent-have risen globally since the 1970s. Self-esteem is also on the rise; according to statistics published in the Review of General Psychology, 80 percent of American pupils had greater self-esteem in 2006 than the generation born in 1988. Scientists have also discovered that today’s youth are more likely than older individuals to have had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or the clinical component of narcissism.
Can we attribute this rapid pandemic to the rise of social media?
As it turns out, narcissism is not a fixed personality characteristic, but rather a set of expressions that are heavily influenced by their surroundings. The media, for example, may affect whether we behave as narcissists. According to a new research, individuals who are exposed to narcissistic reality TV characters had greater degrees of narcissism shortly thereafter.
Other evidence supports this theory: a 2011 study discovered that adolescents who use Facebook more often had more narcissistic characteristics than their classmates. Increased Facebook usage is also related to narcissism in adults, according to the findings of a self-report research published last August.
So, what causes social networks to become breeding grounds for self-absorbed individuals?
Mirror, mirror on the wall
The reason is inherent in their character. According to psychologist Eric B. Weiser, social networks may develop or perpetuate narcissistic traits since they are mainly used for self-promotion.
However, the reverse may be true: more narcissists will be engaged on social media since these platforms enable them to indulge in exhibitionistic, attention-seeking, and self-promotional activities.
Keep in mind that individuals with narcissistic personalities need praise from others. Their inflated self-esteem thrives on easy-to-obtain social media endorsements like likes, shares, and new followers. Furthermore, narcissists enjoy superficial relationships with others and are terrible at listening and showing empathy, making social media a highly appealing setting for them.
How can you tell if someone is a narcissist online?
Although we all grow narcissistic on social media, some people are more loud in their self-expression than others. So, how can you identify narcissistic actions that are above and above the norm?
The first thing to look at is their photographs; individuals with narcissistic tendencies are extremely interested in pictures. For example, they are more likely to appear in photographs wearing costly, showy clothes, and their whole look shows a great deal of planning.
These findings came from a research that sought to establish if individuals can tell whether others are narcissists just by glancing at their pictures. Researchers discovered 16 visual signals that indicate whether a person in a picture is narcissistic as part of the procedure, and all of those indicators were linked to narcissists’ need to be the focus of attention. Female narcissists, for example, wear more make-up and display more cleavage than other women. Male narcissists are more inclined to wear clothing that boost their social standing and are less likely to wear sunglasses in photographs.
People with greater levels of narcissism are more likely to choose profile pictures on Facebook that highlight their beauty. This information comes from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. The study team examined the Facebook profiles of 288 students and inquired about their rationale for selecting certain pictures.
Similar findings can be seen in a more comprehensive study that investigated how narcissism manifests itself on social media – the researchers categorized the Facebook profiles of 156 students based on factors such as pictures, activity on the site, and the amount of lines in the About section. Following that, a group of impartial “observers” were invited to examine each Facebook profile and respond to questions about the material. The results revealed that individuals with greater levels of narcissism upload more appealing pictures. External observers found their pictures to be “more entertaining.”
The research also found that narcissistic users have more Facebook friends than others, make more posts in general, and more self-promotional posts than instructive ones, and write lengthier descriptions in the About area of their profiles.
The researchers associated the higher number of friends with the fact that narcissists favor weak relationships, or superficial connections, and see gaining Facebook friends as a trophy. Another potential reason is that narcissistic individuals are usually outgoing; according to a recent meta-analysis of 62 research on social media and narcissism, narcissists’ tendency to have more friends and produce more material on social media may be related, in part, to their extraversion.
If you think that excessive social media posting means that narcissistic people spend more time on their cellphones, you’re incorrect. It turns out, unexpectedly, that narcissists are less reliant on the touchscreen than others. A smartphone data-tracking research examined how much time individuals spend on mobile every day and discovered that those with greater smartphone use had lower Narcissistic Personality Inventory scores. According to the authors, this is due to the fact that individuals primarily use their cellphones for social contact, which narcissists shun. Monitoring other people’s social media feeds or feeling the fear of missing out (FOMO) are not characteristic of narcissism, but rather of neuroticism.
Another indicator that someone is narcissistic is his or her writing style. Do they often use “I,” “me,” or “my”? Do they curse? The University of Georgia researchers conducted a linguistic study on individual Facebook accounts based on the notion that narcissists prefer to talk more about themselves and use more personal pronouns. When there were no first-person pronouns in the writings, narcissistic writers utilized other linguistic strategies to draw attention to their material, such as using more vulgar and antisocial words. A linguistic study of 1000 Twitter accounts produced similar findings: individuals with greater degrees of narcissism used more terms about anger and negative emotions and less phrases regarding social interaction.
Surprisingly, many studies have shown a link between narcissism and cyberbullying. Although views vary on which kind of narcissism best predicts cyberbullying behavior, one thing is certain: individuals with an accentuated narcissistic characteristic often attempt to draw attention by using foul language or more direct verbal assaults.
Selfies from all around the world
An excess of selfies is a typical feature of narcissists’ social media presence.
According to the findings of a study of 1200 US citizens, two aspects of narcissism positively connect with the frequency of posting selfies on social media. These include the “Leadership/Control” type, which is associated with those who want power and authority over others, and the “Exhibitionism/Grandiosity” type, which is associated with self-absorption, vanity, and attention-seeking.
And there’s more to it than that. Narcissists are not only more prone to take selfies, but the act of taking selfies itself makes individuals more narcissistic. A longitudinal research found that individuals who picture themselves more often had higher degrees of narcissism later in life.
Another study looked at the connection between narcissism and other kinds of selfie posting habits, such as uploading solo selfies, selfies with a group, and selfie editing. According to the findings, narcissists post more solo selfies and alter their photos more often than other individuals.
Finally, some thought-provoking data: Sacred Heart University researcher David G. Taylor discovered that narcissistic individuals post more trip pictures on Facebook. It certainly does not imply that they will be gallivanting more. Travel pictures are a kind of self-promotional material, and as such, they are released with the intention of attracting attention and elevating our social standing.
The platform with the most egotistical content…
According to a 2013 research, Twitter has more narcissistic users than Facebook. Shawn Bergman and his colleagues studied 500 students’ posting habits and reasons for social media usage and discovered that college students who scored higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory favored Twitter. This may be explained by the platform’s encouragement of publishing frequent updates and collecting superficial, non-reciprocal connections (following), both of which are likely to be sought by narcissists.
However, the researchers acknowledge that the nature of the two platforms differs, and that Facebook also allows for self-promotion through features aimed at embellishing one’s personal Facebook page, such as changing the profile photo, filling out the About section, adding one’s interests, and so on. According to the study’s findings, Facebook is the favored medium for adults with narcissistic tendencies, while Twitter is the preferred site for younger narcissists.