A  A  A   Print
College Kids Trend Toward Twitter, Adults Favor Facebook

College Kids Trend Toward Twitter, Adults Favor Facebook

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- All those "status updates" and "tweets" that people post as they clamor to be part of the online social network may reflect a troubling trend toward self-absorbed behavior in the United States, a new study suggests.

The University of Michigan researchers examined whether narcissism was related to the number of daily Facebook and Twitter postings by 486 college students and 93 adults, and to the amount of time they spent on each site.

The college students' average age was 19, and three-quarters were women. The average age of the adults was 35, and most of them were white women.

"Among young adult college students, we found that those who scored higher in certain types of narcissism posted more often on Twitter," study author Elliot Panek, who recently completed his doctorate in communication studies, said in a university news release. "But among middle-aged adults from the general population, narcissists posted more frequent status updates on Facebook."

Facebook functions as a mirror for narcissistic adults, Panek explained.

"It's about curating your own image, how you are seen, and also checking on how others respond to this image," he explained. "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."

Twitter is the social media tool of choice for narcissistic college students.

"Young people may overevaluate the importance of their own opinions," Panek said. "Through Twitter, they're trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues."

The findings, published online June 11 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, suggest that narcissistic college students and adults use social media in different ways to inflate their egos and control other people's perceptions of them, according to Panek.

He and his colleagues weren't able to determine whether narcissism leads to increased use of social media, whether social media use leads to narcissism, or whether other factors explain the association.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more about narcissism.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, June 11, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.