Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are a big draw for narcissists, but the ego-boosting tools are used in different self-aggrandizing ways by different generations, a University of Michigan study suggests. The study details how young adults of college age and their adult counterparts use social media in differing ways to bolster their egos and control perceptions of others.
Vain college-age students favour the mouthpiece of Twitter to amplify their opinions and views in cyberspace.
“Young people overvaluate the importance of their own opinions,” said study researcher Elliot Panek. “Through Twitter, they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.”
Adults who exhibit narcissism tend to prefer Facebook, which serves as a mirror.
“It’s about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image,” said Panek. “Middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles.”
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