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.