… or are narcissists just drawn to social media?
I started asking this question on Twitter a couple weeks ago, in order to gather some ideas and thoughts from my online friends for this post.
Most of the comments suggested that it was the latter – that narcissists were drawn to social media. That makes sense and is a comforting idea. All those people bragging all the time on Facebook were simply attracted to the medium for that reason… But is it true?
All the teenage girls taking a self-photo with their smartphones… were already narcissistic? All of the people extending their Christmas-letter-bragging to a year-round activity on FB?
I know my behavior is different when on social media. After my university asked alums about professors who had changed their lives, I was asked to be in a promotional video. I told very few of my real world friends and colleagues about it, and when I did I carefully worked it into the conversation as an aside. But on Facebook and Twitter I shouted “CHECK OUT the new promotional video at this link –>”.
Having met some of my social media friends in person, I know that they are also reasonably modest in person, unlike their social media personas. So I am confident that social media affects behavior at least online. My worry is whether it then spills over into the non-online world.
What do you think?
Reg Saddler @zaibatsu posted what I like to call the “Facebook Prayer”: