Is It Facebook’s Fault if You’re Self-Centered?

Does Facebook turn you into a narcissist? This is the question posed (but not answered) by a recent column in the New York Times.

Citing a number of recent students of Facebook users, the Times article described the research so far: Facebook users who tag themselves in photos and frequently update their statuses are more narcissistic; self-centered people are more likely to digitally enhance Facebook photos of themselves, and people with high levels of self-absorption are more likely to spend more than an hour a day on Facebook.

In other words, they exhibit behavior that any parent of a teenager would recognize.

But is it really narcissism? And if so, did Facebook cause it?

“What seems like self-promoting behavior may just reflect a generation growing up in the digital age, where information—including details about personal lives—flows freely and connects us,” wrote columnist Tara Parker-Pope.

Parker-Pope noted that researchers found that Twitter actually may be the social medium for the self-centered; there’s an association between tweeting about yourself and exhibiting narcissistic behavior (surprise). Wrote Parker-Pope: “That finding alone, I think, is worth tweeting about.”

How much time do you spend on Facebook? Do you un-tag every single “bad” photo of yourself? (I do. Does that make me self-centered?)

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