Active Facebook Usage Linked to 'Toxic' Narcissism (Study)

5:29 PM PST 03/21/2012 by THR Staff
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A new paper links such things as a large amount of "friends" and frequent status updates with negative forms of the personality trait.

If you update your status frequently and have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, you may think this article is about you.

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According to a new study of Facebook users, a high amount of activity on the social media site is linked to not just narcissism, but the “toxic” version of the personality trait. The Guardian UK reports that a study published in the journal, Personality and Individual Differences, compared Facebook usage to scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Questionnaire.

Its findings show that those participants who scored highest on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, were more likely to have more “friends,” tag themselves more often, and update their status more frequently.

It also showed that participants labeled as narcissistic were more likely to aggressively respond to derogatory comments about them and changed their profile photos more often.

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While there are certainly healthy levels of narcissism, high amounts of the trait that includes excessive selfish behavior, arrogance, a lack of empathy, and entitlement can become socially disruptive for individuals and their relationships.

Of course, there have been other studies that show narcissistic behavior associated with social media sites, but this is one of the first to directly link something like the amount of Facebook friends and possessing the “toxic” elements of narcissism.

The link between high Facebook use and negative forms of narcissism may be especially troubling in light of an exclusive social media poll by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland for The Hollywood Reporter.

The poll of 750 social network users ages 13 to 49 showed that 88 percent of the respondents considered social media a form of entertainment and 79 percent actively use Facebook while watching television. A good amount of the study’s millennials also desire more opportunities to use social media with entertainment, such as while watching movies.

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