are you shallow and insecure? egocentric? imbued with a false sense of your importance and popularity? maybe even, well let’s be fair, a jerk? okay, the clinic term is narcissist and it’s a disease that is so tragic and profound that it doesn’t even have a celebrity spokesperson.
the university of michigan has released a study that concludes that social media sites like twitter and facebook draw in narcissists who want to bolster their fragile egos, control everybody’s great opinion of them, and post about what they are having for dinner. study director elliot panek says that young narcissists opt for twitter while middle aged narcissists (a.k.a. jerks) use facebook.
“young people overvaluate the importance of their opinion,” he says. “through twitter, they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.”
middle aged narcissists, according to this study, choose facebook. slow, stately facebook.
“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.”
okay, well, glad we cleared all this up for everybody. young narcissists and middle aged narcissists . . . we gotta ask. . .
me? i’m on facebook, i’m middle aged, i’m willing to entertain all diagnoses.
just in case you’re curious–as near as i can figure out elliot panek is a linkedin social media user. wonder what that means?