Instagram and narcissism

This may be a surprise to you, but there are 23 million people in America who are actively narcissistic. Though you may know the signs of narcissism from someone’s actions, this type of behavior can actually be measured. As you might imagine, many studies have been done involving the use of technology, and narcissism is included in this category.

In a study published in Computers in Human Behavior, researchers posed the question: Would narcissists follow other narcissists on Instagram? The study also sought to determine whether or not this behavior would contradict their own character of being a narcissist.

The two-part study was done to answer this very question. The results from the first part proved that people who post tons of selfies and groupies are perceived as narcissistic. The results of the second part showed that those same narcissists on Instagram showed favorable attitudes toward fellow narcissists on the popular social media platform, as shown through likes and follows.

That last one may seem like a reach because that would be admiring a being that isn’t themselves. But don’t forget that a huge portion of why narcissists love themselves so much is because of the avid attention they pay to what others think of them.

In other words, if someone has more Instagram followers, a fit body type, or the eye color they want, those types of things make them aspire to be like that person.

Another point this study makes is that there are two types of narcissism we should probably take into account: grandiose narcissism (the aforementioned), and vulnerable narcissism. Vulnerable narcissism is associated with insecurity and social withdrawal.

In other words, a person who is a vulnerable narcissist may constantly post selfies as well as “like” and follow other narcissists, because deep down they aspire to be as in love with themselves as they portray themselves to be.


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