Narcissism and online dating


13-Aug-2015 15:10

It’s not hard to see why the Internet would be a good cave for a narcissist to burrow into.Generally speaking, they prefer shallow relationships (preferably one-way, with the arrow pointing toward themselves), and need outside sources to maintain their inflated but delicate egos.dug into the how and why of narcissists’ social media use, looking at both college students and an older adult population.The researchers measured how often people tweeted or updated their Facebook status, but also why, asking them how much they agreed with statements like “It is important that my followers admire me,” and “It is important that my profile makes others want to be my friend.”Overall, Twitter use was more correlated with narcissism, but lead researcher Shaun W.One 2010 study notes that the emergence of the possible self “is most pronounced in anonymous online worlds, where accountability is lacking and the ‘true’ self can come out of hiding.” But non-anonymous social networks like Facebook, which this study was analyzing, “provide an ideal environment for the expression of the ‘hoped-for possible self,’ a subgroup of the possible-self.

In 1987, the psychologists Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius claimed that a person has two selves: the “now self” and the “possible self.” The Internet allows a person to become her “possible self,” or at least present a version of herself that is closer to it.

When it comes to studies of online narcissism, and there have been many, social media dominates the discussion.

When you’re introduced to someone in person, it’s unlikely that they’ll bust out with a pithy sound bite that attempts to sum up all that they are and all they hope to be, but people do that in their Twitter bio or Facebook “About Me” section all the time.

Science has linked narcissism with high levels of activity on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace (back in the day).

But it's important to narrow in farther and distinguish what kinds of activity the narcissists are engaging in, since hours of scrolling through your news feed, though time-wasting, isn’t exactly self-centered. For example, Twitter has been shown to sometimes fulfill a need to connect with others.The trouble with determining what's normal and what's narcissism is that both sets of people generally engage in the same online behaviors, they just have different motives for doing so.



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