A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS One suggests that people who have narcissistic traits tend to be compulsive Facebook users. The study, “Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) among German students—A longitudinal approach“, was co-authored by Jürgen Margraf.
The study examined 179 German students who used Facebook over the course of one year. The researchers measured the participants’ addiction to Facebook using the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, a test designed specifically to assess compulsive Facebook use.The researchers also surveyed the participants regarding their general life satisfaction, amount of social support, depression and anxiety, narcissism, physical health, and general media use.
“Currently, the social networking site Facebook is used by over 2.1 billion people. Worldwide, users spend a lot of time interacting on Facebook with other platform members and presenting themselves. Some of the members lose control over their Facebook use and develop a strong psychological need to stay online, despite the possible negative consequences of this behavior – the so-called Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD),” explained study author Julia Brailovskaia of Ruhr University Bochum.
The researchers also found that Facebook addiction was associated with certain psychological factors, such as narcissism and other negative mental health variables (depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms).
“FAD was significantly positively related to the personality trait narcissism and to negative mental health variables (depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms),” Brailovskaia explained. “Furthermore, FAD fully mediated the significant positive relationship between narcissism and stress symptoms, which demonstrates that narcissistic people can be specifically at risk to develop FAD.”
“Thus, our findings demonstrate that it is important to consider possible negative consequences of excessive Facebook use, which especially younger people, who belong to the main group of Facebook members, are often unaware of.”