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Anyone who believes they can judge their popularity and status by the number of 'friends' they have on social media websites should have cause for thought from a piece of research from America.

That's because an assistant communications professor from America's Western Illinois University has found that, the more Facebook 'friends' you have, the more narcissistic, and therefore, unhappy, you are likely to be.

Christopher Carpenter's research found that Facebook represented, in effect, a playground for narcissists, whom he describes as people with “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance”.

He concluded, therefore, that Facebook was an ideal place for such people, as it “offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication.”

A sample of nearly 300 college students found that many showed narcissistic tendencies, such as regularly updating their status and posting new photographs of themselves, while also displaying a number of anti-social behaviour patterns, such as seeking support from the site more than giving it, and retaliating against negative comments.

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Steven Cox

Steven Cox spent many years as an offline journalist before joining Lakestar McCann. He has worked as a specialist correspondent for a market-leading transport magazine, a news journalist for major regional newspapers, a commercial features writer with the Manchester Evening News, and a freelance writer and sub-editor. He is now heavily involved in helping Lakestar McCann clients achieve wide coverage through keeping their news feeds updated, as well as in writing and updating on-site copy.

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