In January 2017 researchers from Norway and the UK published the results of their study to assess the association between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem. It has been noted that although most people’s social media use is non-problematic, a small number of users appear to engage in social media excessively and/or compulsively. A total of 23,532 individuals, aged 16-88 years, were included in the study. Information on various personality traits and social media addiction was collected via an online survey and each individual assessed. Results showed that a higher social media addiction score was associated with a lower age, being female, not being in a relationship, being a student, a lower education, lower income, lower self-esteem, and narcissism. The findings supported the idea that addictive social media use reflected a need to feed the ego (ie narcissistic personality traits) in an attempt to prevent low self-esteem. The results also indicated that women may tend to develop more addictive use of social media activities than men.
Andreassen CS et al. The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey.Addict Behav. 2017 Jan;64:287-293