Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?
Yes to an extent. With a free service like Instagram for example young girls and women especially are really becoming very narcissistic indeed. Lots of young men as well but I think in this regard women outnumber the males by quite a large margin. Because social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, focus on sharing (and sometimes oversharing) one’s own image and opinions, young adults who use these platforms frequently are prone to narcissism. Research shows that higher amounts of social media use predict higher levels of grandiose narcissism.
All the young women I know aged 20 and above – these are women I know from work – all seem to have very active Instagram accounts where they upload a lot of variously posed and thought out pics. Bathroom pics, selfies, group selfies, pics taken with makeup touched up in between, the usual poses, getting your friends to take the pics for you, buying outfits for the sole purpose of taking reels and pics in them etc. Am I missing something? Dare I say it, I also see a few of them sharing a few revealing images/reels.
In a 2018 study, researchers tracked 74 participants aged 18–34 over four months and used the NPI to quantify their narcissistic traits. Hence, they found that participants who posted large quantities of photos and selfies showed a 25 percent increase in narcissism. Specifically, those who used Facebook and other platforms that focus on images rather than words became more narcissistic over time. Now I am not saying all of them are narcissistic but a lot of them are bordering on them and a lot are positively narcissistic.