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New Study: Selfies Relates to Narcissists

People Who Post Excessive Selfies Online Can Turn Into Narcissists, Researchers Reveal

 

How many posts do you put up in a day? Is your timeline filled with selfies? This might be more serious than you think.

Clicking, typing, scrolling, and surfing – it’s all become a part of our daily lives. We spend a good part of the day being glued to social media and we jump from one post to another constantly. But studies show that using social media excessively and posting too many selfies, can lead to a spike in narcissism, according to Daily Mail.

Narcissism is when a person thinks too much about themselves. Their self-bestowed importance can fill an entire room, leaving no space for anyone else to grow.

New studies are able to find some connection between narcissism and the excessive visual usage of social media, which is the posting of images.

In a study conducted by researchers from Swansea University and Milan University, a few insights have been drawn about the co-relation. The behavior of 74 individuals was observed in the span of four months and their usage pattern of social media was studied. Over the span of four months, the researchers were able to identify certain changes in the participants, who were aged between 18 to 34.

One of the main observations came from participants who had a high usage of social media and frequently put up visual posts. This group showed an average increase of 25% of narcissistic characteristics in the span of just four months.

Based on the scale of measurement used in this study, some participants even crossed the clinical cut-off line for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because of the spike that happened over four months.

The study focused on four popular social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Another notable finding from the study was that people who used Twitter did not show such increases. This is mainly because the posts on Twitter are more verbal in nature, as opposed to more visual-heavy social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.

iStock
iStock

However, if participants were already displaying narcissistic traits before the study began, then the results were different. If the Twitter users were already narcissistic before the study, then it was noticed that their social media usage grew over time. This meant that as time passed, they were putting up more and more verbal postings.

In the study conducted, all the participants used social media except for one individual. Three hours was the average time spent by participants on social media, without considering the usage for work purposes.

Some of the participants, who used social media extensively, reported that they would even use social media for up to 8 hours a day, excluding usage for work. Another cause for concern is that more than two-thirds of the participants would go for visual posts on social media.

The person leading the research was Professor Phil Reed from the Swansea University’s Department of Psychology and the Time was published in the Open Psychology Journal.

Professor Phil Reed said, “There have been suggestions of links between narcissism and the use of visual postings on social media, such as Facebook, but, until this study, it was not known if narcissists use this form of social media more, or whether using such platforms is associated with the subsequent growth in narcissism. The results of this study suggest that both occur, but show that posting selfies can increase narcissism.”

He went on to say, “Taking our sample as representative of the population, which there is no reason to doubt, this means that about 20% of people may be at risk of developing such narcissistic traits associated with their excessive visual social media use. That the predominant usage of social media for the participants was visual, mainly through Facebook, suggests the growth of this personality problem could be seen increasingly more often, unless we recognize the dangers in this form of communication.”






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