Facebook: Window to Your Psyche?

The Facebook Profile says a lot. It conveniently lists your education info, work info, relationship status, favorite books, movies, activities, and interests. But psychologists at the University of Georgia are finding that how you use your Facebook pages can say a lot more than the information you willingly put out on the net.
A new study, the results of which appear in the October issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests that Facebook profiles can mirror the narcissism of their owners.
Besides being synonymous with being “egotistical,” “self-centered,” and “self-absorbed,” narcissism affects the ability of a person to form healthy, long-term relationships. According to W. Keith Campbell, a professor at the University of Georgia who co-authored the study in question, “Narcissists are using Facebook the same way they use their other relationships – for self promotion with an emphasis on quantity of over quality.”
You know those people that add you as a friend after a 30-second convo, or because you know one of their friends (or their friend’s friends?) The ones who have 10,562 friends…in their main network alone? These Facebookers also have a variety of photo albums on their page– most of which are full of self-portraits and glamour shots taken in the mirror. These are the FB users who most clearly exhibit signs of narcissism.
The growth spurts of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have grabbed the attention of behaviorists who want to explore how personality traits are expressed online. “We’ve undergone a social change in the last four or five years and now almost every student manages their relationships through Facebook – something that few older people do,” asserts Campbell. “It’s a completely new social world that we’re just beginning to understand.”
I wonder what else we can learn from peoples’ Facebook quirks. For example: what do we learn from the girl who changes her status every five seconds, so you always know EXACTLY where she is and what she’s doing? How about the guy you haven’t talked to in months, yet still comments on all of your new FB photos, your status, even what other people are writing on your wall?
What would you like to learn from Facebook? Do you agree with this study?

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