A new research study suggests that narcissism is the “primary driver” for active Twitter users. The conclusion was drawn from the work of Shaun Davenport and his colleagues at High Point University in North Carolina where they conducted an online survey of 515 college students and 669 adults, all of whom used social media.
An individual’s Twitter active usage more than Facebook active usage was a better predictor of narcissism, the study posits. However, there is a generational component inherent in the findings. Davenport found that while students with narcissistic proclivities used Twitter to attract attention, narcissistic adults used Facebook to exhibit themselves and be noticed.
In June, a research study by Elliot Panek and the University of Michigan found that middle aged people gravitated more toward Facebook. Panek believes, “Middle-aged adults usually have already formed their social selves, and they use social media to gain approval from those who are already in their social circles.” In contrast, younger social media users utilize Twitter because, according to the study, “Through Twitter they’re trying to broaden their social circles and broadcast their views about a wide range of topics and issues.” Panek believes that Twitter behaves as a megaphone for younger users.
Interestingly, the High Point study found no correlation between college students who actively use Facebook and narcissistic tendencies. The study posits that Millennials are so familiar with Facebook as a tool to communicate to others that they use it more like the previous generation used a phone.