Mackenzie Rose Overlock

Harrison Township, Mi

Social media has become an increasingly utilized outlet to connect with others over the past decade, especially in college students and young adults. Social networking is a virtual world where its users can create profiles, talk with their real-life friends, and meet new people based on some common interests. Using social media is seen as a standard worldwide trend. While the general sense is that social media sites encourage positive self-esteem, it has been connected to the rise of narcissistic behaviors leading to social media users painting an unrealistic view of themselves.

Mackenzie Overlock tested the hypothesis that higher levels of social media use will positively correlate with higher levels of narcissistic behaviors in young college aged individuals but not in older or middle-aged adults (40+). She recruited 62 participants who completed the survey online or in person. The survey consisted of 27 questions, with four questions related to demographics, 13 questions measuring social media use, and lastly, 10 questions based of the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HNS) that evaluates the degree of narcissistic behaviors. Both the social media and HNS were graded a five-point Likert scale.

Correlational analysis did not reveal a relationship between social media and HNS scores even when age was controlled for as a co-variable, not supporting the hypothesis purposed. Due to the inherent issues with accuracy of self-reported personality traits like narcissism, a follow up of this study should be conducted with other means of evaluating narcissistic characteristic that do not rely on self-disclosure.