My sons were a bit surprised and a little creeped out that their geezer Dad created a Facebook page. My argument was that wrinkled faces like to communicate with others too! In fact a lot of my slightly “higher mileage” friends are jumping into the cyber social networking scene. So it was with some interest that I read about a new bit of incredibly important research released this month. The news was startling.
Facebook users can be narcissists.
Can you believe it?
A new University of Georgia study suggests that online social networking sites such as Facebook might be useful tools for detecting whether someone is a narcissist. The researchers, whose results appear in the October issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that the number of Facebook friends and wallposts that individuals have on their profile pages correlates with narcissism. The research says this is consistent with how narcissists behave in the real-world, with numerous yet shallow relationships. Narcissists are also more likely to choose glamorous, self-promoting pictures for their main profile photos.
Here is my Facebook profile picture.
Yes, I am pictured in a television production truck with a donkey wearing headsets. I wonder what that says about me? I have often used the example of Balaam’s donkey as an example of why people should read my humble ramblings. In Numbers 22 we read these words.
And the LORD opened the mouth of the (donkey).
I chickened out on the King James Version. But my point is that it could happen again. The Lord could choose a (donkey) to speak through so keep reading just in case He does it again. The study made another observation about Facebook narcissists.
“Sometimes they’ll have a famous (Ralph Waldo) Emerson quote, but they’ll include quotes from themselves or something flattering someone else said about them.”
I have not done the self-promoting quote thing. Perhaps that is because my most flattering quote from a friend was something like this.
“I have had worse friends than Dave.” Bradley
Based on this research I may not be a narcissist. My profile picture is hardly flattering. There are no fancy quotes on my site. Another indicator of Facebook narcissism was a lot of bragging the “About Me” section. I wrote this on my page
I am a joyful follower of Jesus Christ. I am incredibly happily married to the lovely Joni. Father of three most excellent sons and proud father-in-law of two extraordinary daughters. The rest is just filler.
Nonetheless, I really can’t be too smug about my mental stability. I am, after all, intently giving instructions to a polystyrene donkey wearing headsets.