Gordon Smith

Insta-dam: Science believes users narcissistic


Approx Reading Time-10Study confirms it: the theorising that Instagram is home to the most narcissistic social media users was just unfair stereotyping…until now.




If you’re an Instagram user, chances are you’re a narcissistic attention seeker who requires constant validation and approval from your peers.

That’s according to a survey conducted by education financier, LendEDU, which found that the pocket Polaroid app is far and above the front runner when it comes to its ego-boosting ability when compared with other social media platforms.

The study, conducted upon university students in the US, found that a massive 64% of respondents believe Instagram to be the most narcissistic platform, more than Facebook (10%), Snapchat (15%), and Twitter (11%) combined.

Indeed, those that did ‘Gram, often did so out of a search for “likes”, which LendEDU argues help to create an “entirely new persona, void of reality.”

They theorise that the more positive responses to an “artsy, chic’ picture of oneself, the less that real life accomplishments will matter. This is of course due to the popularity of a user’s account determining their status in the social hierarchy.

78% said they knew “someone who deletes posts if they don’t get enough likes” – so, what does that all mean? Is the next generation doomed to a life of reciprocal neediness, bound by a code of “like for like”?

As much as that may just sound like the ramblings of your technophobic grandparents, a further question to the survey adds at least some weight to the theory of a brand new, online society.

When asked if they made an intentional effort to like the Instagram posts of people who had liked their’s, 67% of respondents answered that, indeed, “yes, it’s an unspoken Instagram code.”

What’s more, the act of posting to social media has become no more than a means of acquiring that sweet notification capita, farming for likes just as the grandparents above would farm for pumpkins in Facebook games long past.

78% of participants said they knew “someone who deletes Facebook or Instagram posts if they don’t get enough likes” – something I absolutely have never done, no way.

So, what does that all mean? Is the next generation doomed to a life of reciprocal neediness, bound by a code of “like for like”? Unlikely.

Still, it does add a shade of irony to the ancient art of selfie taking, knowing that a good 64% of those selfies are an admittance of narcissism.

Heck, maybe that’s the real story here: millennials aren’t narcissists; they’re post-modern artists making a grand, yet equally self-incriminating, statement about the electronic world they live in.

Or maybe they’re just happy with how they look, and we should just get off their backs. Either or.


Gordon Smith

Journalist by day, cunning linguist by night. A passion for politics, hypnotically involved in human rights. An Australian born with a Japanese tongue, hoping to hold the big wigs in government to account.

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