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Most Facebook users have low self-esteem: study

  1. pisean282311 profile image58
    pisean282311posted 6 years ago

    Facebook is used mostly by narcissists and those with low self-esteem, says a Canadian study.

    These type of people use Facebook as a self-promotional tool, says psychology researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh of York University.

    Mehdizadeh, who extensively examined the online habits and personalities of 100 Facebook users aged 18 to 25 years old, found that individuals higher in narcissism and lower in self-esteem spent more time on the site and filled their pages with more self-promotional content.

    "We all know people like this. They are updating their status every five minutes and the photos they post are very carefully construed," she says.

    "The question is, are these really accurate representations of the individual or are they merely a projection of who the individual wants to be?"

    Mehdizadeh says she was struck by the fact that those with lower self-esteem were more apt to use this social networking tool.

    As part of her research, she examined five features of participants' Facebook pages for self-promotion: the 'about me' section, the main photo, the first 20 pictures on the 'view photos of me' section, notes, and status updates.

    Describing self-promotion by Facebook users as any descriptive or visual information that attempted to persuade others about one's own positive qualities, Mehdizadeh assessed facial expression (striking a pose or making a face) and picture enhancement (using photo editing software) in the main photo and 'view photos of me' sections.

    Further, she examined the use of positive adjectives, self-promoting mottos, and metaphorical quotes in the 'about me' section. Self-promotion in the notes section could include posting results from Facebook applications including 'my celebrity look-alikes,' which compares a photo of the user to celebrities, or vain online quiz results.

    After this, she used the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to measure participants' self-esteem. Narcissism was assessed by using the Narcissism Personality Inventory, according to a university release.

    From the gender perspective, Mehdizadeh says she found that men displayed more self-promotional content in the 'about me' and notes sections, whereas women demonstrated more self-promotion in the main photo section.

    "I thought this was an interesting way to apply theoretical paradigms in psychology to online self-presentation, which is still a fairly new concept," says the Canadian researcher.

    "I believe the next question to be answered is whether or not the use of such websites could be used to improve one's self-esteem and overall sense of well-being. This sort of finding may have great implications in the lives of the socially anxious or depressed,'' according to the researcher.

    The study has been published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

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    what are your views on above study?

    1. 0
      china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The arrogance of assuming she is right - before peer review and consideration is unwarranted.  I can think of a few holes in her study that could do with a good looking at.  Extensively studying 100 subjects is ok - but what criteria did she use to select them, maybe they were just her friends ?

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol...might be...

      2. Disturbia profile image60
        Disturbiaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Her criteria was the 18 to 25 age group and if you ask me, she's got it right.  I have a 15 year old and a 20 year old and as a result spend a lot of time with kids in that age range, and you don't need a scientific study to get that they are insecure and narcissistic.  You just have to spend some time with them.

        1. 0
          china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I am not saying that she isn't right, I am just pointing out that her study has not been out there long enough for her to assume that it is right.  And it is not the issue itself it is her reasons for the traits she finds that can be questioned.

          My post was a 'wry' comment, a kind of vague joke around the idea that somebody in a study can pronounce others as naracissistic etc, while showing the same traits themselves.  A bit like the sick joke of 'missionaries' going to other cultures and calling the religions of the people they find there barbaric - and a reason to kill them.

          1. Disturbia profile image60
            Disturbiaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I get it... LOL

    2. 0
      cosetteposted 6 years ago in reply to this




      what a crock.

      facebook users use facebook to connect with family and close friends and reconnect with old friends and associates. we post pictures of our lives, our children, etc. to share that with them. how is that being narcissistic? how does she know they all have low self-esteem? 100 people out of the millions who do use facebook on a regular basis.

      ugh roll

    3. relache profile image89
      relacheposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      As someone who doesn't use Facebook at all, I'm amused by the above.

    4. VerticalMeasures profile image59
      VerticalMeasuresposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I think Facebook is definitely used for promotion (aka business fan pages).  On a personal level, it is probably used by a lot of people who are introverts in real life - online gives them more confidence to be outgoing, without the fear of in real life interaction.

  2. prettydarkhorse profile image66
    prettydarkhorseposted 6 years ago

    Hi pisean,
    The sample is very small compare to the millions who are members of facebook, we cant make a generalization out of that. These are young adults and they still need identity.

    1. pisean282311 profile image58
      pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      you have a point...

    2. sofs profile image88
      sofsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes the sample is to small to generalize the conclusions that she has drawn, other factors like cultural, demographic , social and other factors do play a role. 
      If all her subjects have been concentrated in some small pocket as chinaman suggested her friends then it could be some very  skewed findings.
      She may have a point,  the age group she has studied may have some characteristics that she suggests,  she may need to have  good research methodology to have it published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
      But I still do doubt her  conclusion and generalization based on her pitifully small, sample size.

    3. tobey100 profile image60
      tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Agreed.  I make 'use' of Facebook but only to get folks to come here and my blogs.

  3. Rafini profile image85
    Rafiniposted 6 years ago

    I find this study to be quite interesting....If the results are accurate, what is it saying about the world?

  4. WryLilt profile image87
    WryLiltposted 6 years ago

    There are plenty of holes. The first is the age range. Maybe 18-25 year olds are generally more self centred? It takes many people longer to experience life and realize other people are important, too.

  5. Kangaroo_Jase profile image80
    Kangaroo_Jaseposted 6 years ago

    What?

    We need a study of the habits of a internet social networking site to tell us that 18-25 year olds are self absorbed and narcissistic?

    Ummm, they have been for many generations already.

    Sheesh.

    The ONLY real difference here is the social networking can be used as a more far reaching positive or negative self promotive tool to others on their personal networks.

    1. WryLilt profile image87
      WryLiltposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      What'd you do, take my answer and put it through a content spinner? big_smile

      1. Kangaroo_Jase profile image80
        Kangaroo_Jaseposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What did I do, take your content and place it through an answer spinner to generate a new forum post?

        I would not do something so despicable Wry tongue

        1. WryLilt profile image87
          WryLiltposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          LoLoLoL

    2. Disturbia profile image60
      Disturbiaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well there you go Jase, you're right on this one... I see a lot of protest here, but the fact of the matter is, and I know this because my daughter falls right into that demographic, 18 to 25 years olds are out there on facebook to see and be seen.  The group slected isn't 50 year olds looking to get back in touch with long lost relatives... it's kids, (18 to 25) looking to hook up, and to look good to other kids and anybody else whose attention they can get.

  6. passthejelly profile image80
    passthejellyposted 6 years ago

    I agree to some extent. I know friends who judge self-worth based on how many Facebook friends they have, but I still think most people use it solely for the purpose of keeping in touch and connecting with people they care about. There's nothing wrong with that. smile

  7. Mrvoodoo profile image61
    Mrvoodooposted 6 years ago

    I just hope that nobody takes that journal seriously.

    Ridiculous.

  8. Mikeydoes profile image79
    Mikeydoesposted 6 years ago

    I have problems with putting pictures on there, call it self-concious if you want. Everyone is a at least a little self-concious.

    The reason most people have low self esteem on facebook is because they communicate through it rather than face to face. They don't get the people skills they need. It is much easier to talk through a computer, especially gamers, and kids who aren't as popular.

    1. 0
      china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      and people can seem to have low self esteem in that kind of 'once removed' situation where we are invited to put up pics of ourselves, something we don't normally do in public.  And some people take to that quicker than others.

  9. paradigmsearch profile image87
    paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago

    Just a side note.

    HP did a very smart thing by adding the facebook button to our hubs. I suspect that most of us are getting additional traffic as a result.

    1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
      Mrvoodooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I've seen no evidence of that so far.

      Although three to four people may care to differ.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image87
        paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Facebook really isn’t showing up on your traffic source page?

        1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
          Mrvoodooposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          No more than usual.

          1. paradigmsearch profile image87
            paradigmsearchposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I’m talking about the Like Button they added at the top of the page a few months ago, not that plug-in doohickey on the side that they added recently (I have no opinion as to that yet).

    2. rebekahELLE profile image90
      rebekahELLEposted 6 years ago

      possibly for the people who spend their entire day and night there or obsessively updating statuses, but even with the age group mentioned, it wouldn't be true for all of them.

      actually I've seen more intelligent debate between my sons and friends than I see here in the political/religious forums! they don't attack each other, they discuss.

      as anything, it can't be true for all.

    3. mega1 profile image80
      mega1posted 6 years ago

      I've noticed that facebook users are always trying to "save face" so if that's low self-esteem . . . smile

      1. skyfire profile image72
        skyfireposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol

    4. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 6 years ago

      Another study that wasted more resources, so as to provide more irrelevant information to the masses. lol

      I would say approximately at least 2/3 of the world's population has self-esteem issues of some sort.

      Simple reason: 2/3 are religious and require a god to support their life. lol

      1. Rafini profile image85
        Rafiniposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        roll  (God doesn't support life, he created it big_smile )

        1. Cagsil profile image61
          Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          lol lol lol Now that's freaking funny! lol lol lol

          Are you sure of that? Or are you spouting hopefulness? lol lol

          Either way, it doesn't matter. I was just drawing a reference to many people who lack the ability to maintain their own self esteem and need to believe in a god, in order to. lol

    5. 0
      sandra rinckposted 6 years ago

      That's really funny. lol

    6. Dolores Monet profile image93
      Dolores Monetposted 6 years ago

      Self promotion? Duh! That's why I'm there.

    7. earnestshub profile image86
      earnestshubposted 6 years ago

      I don't buy this study.
      She discovered that some kids of this age are narcissistic?
      She discovered nothing new.
      Every religious nut in the country fits her profile better than the kids would, and as someone said, that's 2/3 of the population.

      What a waste of time!

      Also to take a broad swipe at this age group only displays her ignorance of kids today.

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol

    8. camlo profile image84
      camloposted 6 years ago

      Are the results of this study actually being taken seriously?
      Any idiot knows the results can't be conclusive if only 100 out of millions have been studied, and then only the 18 - 25-year-olds. That can't possibly represent 'most Facebook users'.
      Complete rubbish!

      1. 61
        Fred Freddyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        My thoughts exactly.......I think there is probably a lot of truth in this survey, however considering that tens of millions use fb, a study only using a 100 18-25 year olds does seem rather narrow if not laughable. Anyway why would you need to do a study on this, wouldn't anybody who uses any medium to contact other people talk themselves up rather than down?
        fb is here for whatever you want it to be, personally I have made some good contacts on here and my thoughts about fb without having to do an "in depth survey" are: you have to trawl through 95% of s**t to discover the 5% worth looking for....lol....ON A SELF PROMOTIONAL NOTE: This survey was brought to you by FRED FREDDY, it took him 5 minutes not 5 weeks and required NO funding.....

    9. Devanni profile image60
      Devanniposted 6 years ago

      I think it depends on how you use the site.  I don't understand all the people out there with hundreds of 'friends', and perhaps some of them fit into the narcissistic category. 
      But this really doesn't seem like sound sience to me.  Especially coupled with the assertions made.  Testing a single age group is just plain odd, and clearly not representative of users as a whole.  Are the conclusions of the study true?  Impossible to say.  As far as I'm concerned it's still just a hypothesis.

    10. Lisa HW profile image82
      Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

      I don't know...    A whole lot of Facebook users are in the early twenties and under set.  A good percentage of people in that age range lead toward the "narcissistic side" (maybe particularly for this generation of young people).  If the study is accurate, I predict a lot of those apparent narcissists will outgrow it.

      Another point may be, though, that for today's generation (especially of young people), things like posting pictures and doing the whole "self-promotion" thing are just part of what "everyone else" does.  There's the whole social aspect to the Internet (and Facebook).  I came of age long before there was an Internet and all this socializing that goes on; and yet - look at me - I'm online writing, doing the things that people who write online do (like listing personal experiences, background, etc. etc. because it's what online writers do if they want to do the stuff "everyone else" (other online writers) do.  We all hear that things like profiles can make a difference in followers or traffic (etc.)

      What people do in any era changes, and what's considered "normal" or average changes a good part of the time. When it comes to something so directly and uniquely tied to socializing (and there's never been anything like the Internet before), I'm not sure yesterday's psychology measurements and standards can be applied either.

      I set up a Facebook page because "everyone says" online writers ought to have one.  I didn't put all that self-promotion kind of stuff on it (except to "self-promote" by putting links to my latest writing).   As a result, my Facebook page looks like a weird string of links to my own articles, with nothing else on it and a few "friends" who somehow ended up on there.  The only way to make it not look weird would be for me to add the usual personal stuff and pictures to it.  So, it's almost like, "If you're going to have Facebook account at all, you have to add the stuff that "everyone else" adds."

      Besides, the world is kind of divided into "people who aren't self-confident" and "people who are as self-confident as everyone else is".  I'd assume that's pretty much the mix that ends up on Facebook.  Throw in that in the offline world a whole lot of people have something to sell, and that accounts for another bunch of what seems like self promotion but is really just business promotion.

      1. jayb23 profile image70
        jayb23posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree and disagree with her findings. People, who go on updating their status every hour are indeed of low self esteem but there are pple who use Fb as mode of interaction which does not mean they are narci's or suffer from low self esteem.

        1. pisean282311 profile image58
          pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          quiet right...

    11. skyfire profile image72
      skyfireposted 6 years ago

      No.

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        ?

    12. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

      The study doesn't say Facebook users have low self esteem, it says the proportion of facebook users that do have low self-esteem use the service more intensely and in a self-promotional way.  Totally different thing.

      It would be like saying because internet users who use porn spennd (on average) more time online and prefer porn, all internet users just want porn.

    13. 61
      Fred Freddyposted 6 years ago

      I think there is probably a lot of truth in this survey, however considering that tens of millions use fb, a study only using a 100 18-25 year olds does seem rather narrow if not laughable. Anyway why would you need to do a study on this, wouldn't anybody who uses any medium to contact other people talk themselves up rather than down?
      fb is here for whatever you want it to be, personally I have made some good contacts on here and my thoughts about fb without having to do an "in depth survey" are: you have to trawl through 95% of shit to discover the 5% worth looking for....lol....ON A SELF PROMOTIONAL NOTE: This survey was brought to you by FRED FREDDY, it took him 5 minutes not 5 weeks and required NO funding.....

    14. ddsurfsca profile image74
      ddsurfscaposted 6 years ago

      I am a facebooker, and that is because my family is all over the usa, and it is a wonderful way to stay in touch, be able to see what they are doing, send and share pictures, and just keep up with things, it seems that talking on the phone leaves me sad, and letters just dont cut it .  I am also a gamer, and the other set of friends share my games and we just talk.  humbug on the study, I have more self esteem in one finger than any other 10 ppl, but I do love and miss my family that have moved away

    15. Pcunix profile image91
      Pcunixposted 6 years ago

      I think most FaceBook users had perfectly normal self esteem until King Larry joined.

    16. billchucks profile image59
      billchucksposted 6 years ago

      using the word most is exceptionally wrong. but if one says that facebook has actually made pple become more timid i will tend to agree with that

     
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