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Dr. Drew

Driven by current events, "Dr. Drew" on HLN focuses on the human - and human behavior - at the center of the story.

Facebook: Social narcissist network?

  • Are you engaging in self-centered Facebook activity and not realizing it?
  • Study finds that most of what is shared on Facebook is positive information
A recent study found that items shared on Facebook are mostly positive information about our lives.

A recent ScienceNewsline study found that most of what is shared on Facebook is positive information about our lives, with many fewer users sharing negative events or emotions.

Even so, the data indicates that the more a person uses Facebook, the more likely they are to feel unhappy. This is especially true for females. So what starts as an attempt to feel better can end up making a person feel worse.

The New York Times reports data that suggests that our obsessive entanglement with Facebook correlates with our self-involved tendencies. In other words, Facebook may be conducive to our most narcissistic behaviors.  

Research from Western Illinois University finds that people who engaged in self-centered Facebook activity like self photo-tagging or frequent status updates were more likely to show narcissist traits. Narcissism stems from a deep need to have others validate one’s worth.

So, does Facebook usage cause individuals to be egotistic, or does it merely give people who are already self-absorbed another way to express themselves?  

A recent study by the  University of North Carolina-Wilmington and the University of Hartford may provide some insight. Their results suggest that narcissism isn’t associated with all high-frequency Facebook users, just those who acquire gargantuan numbers of "friends." 

Other Facebook users, including high-frequency users, simply exhibited traits associated with openness, an easy willingness to share the details of their lives with others. In short, some people are using Facebook to indulge into narcissism, while others are simply “sharing.”

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