Did you ever notice that blank text box at the top of Facebook that asks, “what’s on your mind?” All types of different people use the status update bar all the time. Sometimes I know that my friend’s mom is on vacation in Florida. Or, that my best friends boyfriend is home visiting his dog, or even that my grandma is going to the supermarket! People update their statuses at any time during the day, but did you ever wonder why?
According to a study done by the California State University, the overuse of social networking can lead to actual psychiatric disorders. Wow… So my days of scrolling through Facebook or the Buzzfeed Twitter account can make me narcissistic, or even depressed? This study says yes. Other studies even say that just using social media in general leads to narcissism and insecure personalities. While I agree that for some people this is true, I definitely do not think it is an inevitable fate.
I always wondered why people decided to update their statuses, regardless of the website. It seems odd that prior to heading on a vacation or going out to the grocery store one feels the need to log onto social media and write their next plan of action. Perhaps it is a feeling of self-reciprocation, to see who views it and “likes” or “retweets” it. The fact that social media usage can result in actual psychological disorders makes me think more deeply about creating status updates. Perhaps the mind predicts the outcome of creating an update. I think it’s all about the future, and the responses that one will gain from posting. This plays into narcissism because people are aways waiting and thinking about themselves. While updates are meant for others to see, the responses, reactions, and likes are for US.
However, sometimes it is not all about the “likes”. A 2013 psychological research study proves that updating statuses is not all about waiting for others to view it and/or like it. Rather, the study shows that undergraduate college students who update their statuses extremely often, typically feel less loneliness than those who do not update their status at all. The interesting point of this is that, “the team found that loneliness levels did not depend on whether the students’ status updates garnered any comments or “Likes” from Facebook friends.” In other words, the simple act of writing a Facebook status makes people feel more connected to the world regardless of any online reciprocation. Again, the act of writing is for the individual, even when others are not involved, the individual is at the forefront of this action. Narcissistic? I’d say yes.