Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 23, 2012

Study claims that “The More Facebook Friends You Have, the More Unhappy You Probably Are”

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 1:51 AM

Saw this in my news feed today and found this interesting enough to share. Facebook (FB) has become the defacto medium by which most young folks share information with their friends and keep in touch. I can’t even count the no of times I went out with friends met someone new there and once I got back home had a Friend request from the person I had just met. Now this study claims that the new generation is becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships. While its not true for all folks on FB, it is true for a large majority. How many of the 500+ ‘friends’ you have on FB have you had a conversation with in the past one year? Even I have people on my friend list that I haven’t talked to in over a year (although that could be because I don’t log on to FB that often 🙂 ).

From the article:

Researchers have established a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you are a “socially disruptive” narcissist, confirming the conclusions of many social media sceptics.

People who score highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often and updated their newsfeeds more regularly.

The research comes amid increasing evidence that young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.

The latest study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, also found that narcissists responded more aggressively to derogatory comments made about them on the social networking site’s public walls and changed their profile pictures more often.

For me friends are people I interact with on a regular (semi-regular) basis as a friend in real life, hence I hesitate in adding folks I barely know as friends on FB. That just dilutes the meaning of ‘Friend’ for me, but I think that this is not the case with most people. BTW, I am not saying that we need to be best friends before I add you to FB, just that I need to become friends in real life before becoming friends on FB. (Another reason for not adding you could be that I just haven’t logged in on FB in a while)

Was reading another article a couple of days ago where they talked about how people tend to exaggerate their life on FB to appear to be more popular. This phenomenon is not unique to FB, when MySpace was popular you could actually pay ‘pretty’ people to add you as their friends and post messages on your wall (don’t remember what MySpace called it). You can even buy FB friends for fairly cheap.

Moral of the story, don’t just post about having a good time; go out and have fun in real life with real folks. This photo is very accurate and something I see on a fairly regular basis and I am sure you all do as well:

What do you think?

Source: Facebook’s ‘dark side’: study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism.

Thanks to LifeHacker for the initial story.

– Suramya


  1. I agree with your points, but at the same time… I don’t really use Facebook as a platform for interacting with my established friends, I would rather call them and email them than post on their walls. I actually use it more for interacting with new, interesting people, the kind you meet one night and think “I would really like to get to know you better and know what you have to say”, or something like that. I feel without Facebook, they would be lost somewhere as collateral damage in the rush most of our lives are. I guess it all comes down to the reason for using Facebook. Should it be an enclosed space that won’t make you grow outside of your established circle, or an open one that will open new, unimagined possibilities, suggestions, and insights? Then personal choice would come to play. There are always bad, vain apples… But generalization is also a form of blindness. I enjoyed your article. Thanks!!

    Comment by Rene — March 27, 2012 @ 7:21 PM

  2. Hi Rene,

    That’s an interesting use case and not something I normally would do. For getting to know people I personally prefer to start following their Blog or website if they have one, because on FB/Twitter a lot of the posts tend to be about stuff I don’t really care about and Blogs/website posts can be a bit more detailed and interesting. I do follow a couple of authors I like on FB because I want to know when their next book is coming out but that’s about it.

    So I do agree with you and at the same time I don’t agree with you. Every rule has an exception and not all people are alike. I knew a person who would post what they had for lunch/dinner everyday on FB and another who only posts links to articles/news that are thought provoking. so you have both spectrum of people.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — March 30, 2012 @ 6:03 PM

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