How to Spot a Narcissist on Social Media

By | September 6, 2015

Narcissistic personality disorder can be defined as a personality disorder in which the sufferer has a distorted self image, unstable and intense emotions, is too much preoccupied with vanity, prestige, power and themselves, lacks empathy and has a hyberbolized sense of superiority.

Christopher Carpenter of Western Illinois University did a study on narcissism and its correlation to Facebook. It was published in Personal and Individual Differences. His study found larger than normal exhibitionism correlated with self-promotion and entitlement/exploitiveness correlated with anti-social behaviors on Facebook.

According to another study done by Amanda Forrest of the University of California and Joanne Wood at Waterloo University, published in Psychological Science, they discovered those with low self-esteem feel safer sharing on Facebook. However, the study also found that those with low self-esteem frequently post updates that don’t necessarily work in their favour. They tend to criticize their friends with negative details of their lives, making them less likeable among the people that follow them on the social media channel. The authors of the study also found that those people with high self-esteem, who usually posted more positive updates, received more positive feedback.


Most social media users do not suffer from narcissism, so you can relax know that. Yet, social media is to narcissists what crack is to crack addicts: the more narcissistic you are, the more you will use social media for self-promotional purposes. Needless to say, studies have shown that the number of status updates, attractive selfies, check-ins, follower, friends have correlations with narcissism as is the tendency to accept invites from total strangers, particularly those who are most attractive.

Are you a narcissist?

About Alex Noudelman

Alex Noudelman is a digital marketing expert at iRISEmedia. He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College.

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