Intro Blog

What This Is:

The purpose of this blog is to explore different perspectives within the realms of Social Cognition. I want to take my blog in a direction of topics that I feel applies to myself or aspects of my life. Plus we all know that we retain information better if it’s on a topic that we’re interested in!

Diving In:

The paper that I used during my talk this week was called: “The Relationship Between Addictive use of Social Media, Narcissism, and Self-esteem: findings from a national survey.” (1) It explains its findings that highlights:

  • Addictive use of social media was associated with being a student, female, young and single.
  • Addictive use of social media was related to higher narcissism.
  • Addictive use of social media was related to lower self-esteem.

I gravitated toward this paper because I thought that it would be pretty relevant to myself and a lot of people I associate with in my life. I’m sure we as a society all at least use one form of social media a day and I thought it was interesting that the addiction itself was about being in one’s own reality and interacting with people there, would transform across this invisible membrane and translate into other factors that affect you in the outside world. I believe its related to social psychology because having the addiction to social media itself (or of other people’s approval) was also related to developing issues that would affect the way you interact with people (narcissism and the self-esteem issues). It was also stated that demographic factors play a role in determining if one has an addiction or not, which in my opinion is a product of social construct in the first place. But to play devil’s advocate, (and because I’m a woman) I wonder why it leans toward women over men to be at a bigger risk to being addicted to social media. We all know that one guy out there that just seems to like the selfie posts a little too much…. Maybe it just because they surveyed more women than men. Or maybe it’s because we as women are seen more as a figure than an individual (thanks to popular culture and advertising) and need to show the world how good we are at “being ourselves” by how many likes our photo gets. It almost seems like the more socially apt you are the more likes you are going to get on a post and in the long run more exposure because you are going to pop up on other people feeds because their friends liked it as well, which will in turn feed that addiction more. The paper also noted that it was a poorly studied field which also makes the whole concept more interesting to me.

During my talk this week I had a student ask if I had taken the Bergen Facebook Addiction Exam (I didn’t) and I thought it would be great to tie in my blog by taking the Quiz. I scored an 8. According to the key I am a “normal person” when it comes to Facebook use (if you get a 15 or up you’re considered an addict) as for my self-esteem or narcissistic tendencies, those are yet to be determined. You can get an online generated form of the Facebook addiction scale here:


(1):  Andreassen, C. S., Pallesen, S., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). The relationship between addictive use of social media, narcissism, and self-esteem: Findings from a large national survey. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 287-293. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.006


10 thoughts on “Intro Blog

  1. Hey, do you think that social media is hurting people in more ways then emotionally? I read a couple off studies that show just how damaging it has become to our language skills as well. It seems that people can’t even form full sentences anymore, and some people even talk as they text, with abbreviations and shortcuts, which is sad. In an article by Meghan Mellinger, it talks about just this, saying that people are losing the important skills that older generations have, such as articulation, spelling and even basic communication. (Four Skills Social Media Kills, Meghan Mellinger, 2014) Meghan’s piece is far from the only article that covers this issue, thoughts? Do you think this also effects women more than men?


    1. Hi @rachelsblog2017, I think that is a really good inquiry/point. I have also read that social media outlets can be damaging to our language skills, and even the pragmatic (social use of language) development in younger generations. For example, have you ever noticed that parents now and days often resort to their phone (aka social media) instead of giving one hundred percent of their attention to their children? This often may resort into less language input and social communication with the child at a young age, leading to a decrease in these “four skills” Meghan Mellinger mentions in her blog: confrontation, quality time, conversation, and written communication. With less social interaction and parental time, and more screen time with these children, I feel we are seeing a ripple effect in the younger generations leading to a decrease in basic social interactions.

      I found an article called “The Effects of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication” (1) and it brings up some very good findings and points in relation to this research. Specifically Drago (1) mentions this naturalistic study done by Misra, Cheng, Genevie, & Yuan (2014) on how having technology present in social interactions significantly decreases the depth of the conversation compared to just interacting without the phones present whatsoever. “People who had conversations in the absence of mobile devices reported higher levels of empathetic concern, while those conversing in the presence of a mobile device reported lower levels of empathy (Misra et al., 2014)” (1). Many other studies done in this review paper mention this, showing an overall lack of social abilities and interaction present when technology is present.

      Developmentally, another study mentioned in Drago’s (1) review paper done by Brignall and van Valey (2005) suggested that “a decrease in the amount of time youth spend interacting face-to-face may eventually have “significant consequences for their development of social skills and their presentation of self” (p. 337)”. This leads to my underlying comment that technology does eventually lead to a decrease in the social skills (pragmatics) needed and may be harmful to one’s self-esteem in the long run, leading to the overall problem of reliance on the device to help balance out the lack of self-esteem which @averyshae was originally looking into.


    2. I’ve noticed myself that I would rather talk in a text than actually have a conversation with someone, especially phone calls. In my blog my paper references a said “third variable” that could be a multitude of things. I feel like it may have a bit to do with social anxiety. I guess the best way to describe it is like using your device or social media platform as a social shield. One can choose to like and reply to comments, and engage in a social setting that’s comfortable for them. But where it becomes an addiction is when they rely on that shield too much and completely stops social practises all together thus losing their abilities to engage in any social settings. (conversations, language skills, articulating sentences, etc.) Almost like a use it or lose it hypothesis.
      I found a really cool paper that is almost like the extreme version of my hypothesis that is asking to introduce “Nomophobia” into the DSM-V which is the fear of not having a mobile device. (1) I think that this can fall into my argument because “the shield” is the phone and the individual cannot function without the connection to their world which is also hurting their ability to communicate with people outside that world. And I feel like this way of thinking probably affect women just as much as men just because I am referencing more of a neurological issue and things like depression and anxiety affect you regardless of the sex you are. Here is the paper I’m talking about: (1)
      Bragazzi, N., & Puente, G. D. (2014). A proposal for including nomophobia in the new DSM-V. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 155. doi:10.2147/prbm.s41386


  2. This is definitely and interesting and relevant topic and you raised some great points! I wondered if self-monitoring had any contribution to why people would post pictures to Facebook in an effort to appear in a certain way rather than just because of their narcissistic personality. I found an article by Pavica Sheldon that looks at not only narcissism in social media, but also how self-monitoring and the social role theory. It states that, while narcissism is the highest factor in determining why individuals post photos and comment on posts on Facebook, self-monitoring can also be a factor. High self-monitors do in fact post photos to Facebook to elevate their status or to appear outgoing to their peers.

    In terms of the social role theory the article notes that, women in general are expected to be “caregivers,friendly, unselfish, and expressive”. In this study it was found that women post to Facebook and comment on other’s status’ because they believe it shows that they “care” and are therefore doing it to fulfill their social role as females. So, while narcissism is a main motivating factor, I found it was really interesting that there could be other behaviours and motivations explaining why people excessively post on social media sites!

    Here’s the paper I was referencing:
    Sheldon, P. (2016). Self-monitoring, Covert Narcissism, and Sex as Predictors of Self-presentational Activities on Facebook. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 5(3), 70-91. Retrieved from http://thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/202


    1. I was really intrigued by the idea of self-monitoring that you brought up, I feel like it closely ties with the definition of narcissism. The actual definition of narcissism in psychology is: extreme selfishness with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type (1)
      Self-Monitoring pertains to: a personality trait that refers to an ability to regulate behaviour to accommodate social situations. People concerned with self-presentation tend to closely monitor their audience to ensure appropriate or desired appearances. (2)
      The definitions both talk about their desired public appearances (which also translates into physical appearance) and are both concerned with how their audience sees them (especially if its positive). So I feel like they would both be possible factors that could alter social media use in an individual.

      It was also interesting to hear that women were seen as “caring, friendly, and expressive” in your paper and that’s why they were posting on social media because what comes to mind with me is all of the cyber bullying there is on the internet. So hopefully there are other motivations out there rather than just getting attention!

      (1) Ph.D., L. F., Ph.D., C. M., Troscianko, E. T., & Flora, C. (n.d.). Psychology Today. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/narcissism

      (2) Self-monitoring. (2017, January 4). Retrieved January 23, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-monitoring


  3. I found a study that did a cross sectional study of 600 male and female university students. This specific study found that women have a lower risk of problematic internet usage than males in the scopes of impulse control, social comfort, depression and distraction control. This information is contrary to your findings but as social media and internet usage is relatively new within our society the depth of these studies is still quite shallow. Furthermore the study found that those students who use the internet for not only practical reasons but also entertainment have much higher risk of problematic internet usage. The results pertaining to time spent on the internet and its relation to problematic internet usage are logical. If you are spending 3-6 hours a day on the internet entertaining yourself and socializing it would be easy for it to become problematic.

    Hammour Z. E., Abd-Elgali. H. M., Elhassan, H. A., & Abo Alabbas, M. M. (2015). Problematic Internet Use Among Al-Azhar University Students in Cairo. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine. 61, 535-547. Retrieved from:http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uleth.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d611c772-eb4c-472e-8096-cb2070ff8d97%40sessionmgr4010&vid=11&hid=4112


    1. I’m glad you found information that was contrary to mine but I feel like it’s due to the fact that is has to do with “internet usage” and not just social media. I know a lot of males in my life that play video games and are in chat rooms for more than 4+ hours day. I know one individual specifically uses it as a debriefing mechanism because of the line of work he is in and he finds it helps him unwind from the day and it also gives him an outlet to vent about the days problems to his friends. But is it an addiction? I feel like there’s is a fine line and a lot more studies that need to be done. In the article I found, it explored the ideas of “internet addiction” not just specifically social media sites and further explains that some forms of internet addiction may start as a coping process but further progresses.
      Kardefelt-Winther, D. (2016). Conceptualizing Internet use disorders: Addiction or coping process? Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. doi:10.1111/pcn.12413


  4. I found your talk and this blog to be quite interesting as I have previously read a paper that would indicate the opposite in terms of the gendered nature of social media, and when I had read it my initial thoughts were that it would be women. This paper portrayed men to be the ones who are more susceptible to problematic internet use. I would have assumed the those most affected would be women since they tend to be more socially connected, use their social groups for comfort and have higher rates of depression, both of which were considered important factors on social media problems in this paper. Although this paper uses the amount time spent on the internet as its major inference into problematic online behaviour instead of actual online activities I still think some of it is valid however, I would still agree that women being more susceptible to such things makes more sense to me.

    Hammour Z. E., Abd-Elgali. H. M., Elhassan, H. A., & Abo Alabbas, M. M. (2015). Problematic Internet Use Among Al-Azhar University Students in Cairo. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine. 61, 535-547.


  5. The criticism you made on this result seems persuasive for me. Absolutely it is hard to collect data from self report since the memory deficit and underestimation will lead to the bias in the result. This research has a huge sexual imbalance. So the point here is if the study is based the on the relationship between the narcissism, self-esteem and media addiction, the statistic of the narcissism personality disorder shows an contradictory result against the consequence. The prevalence of Narcissism personality disorder has a higher ratio in male of 50-75%. This date is from DSM-V. The other point is that the study measure different type of social media using while different behaviour may result from variant reasons but not purely because of personality traits. For example, video games addition has a higher sex ratio in male. The result is a research did in Norway as well.

    Kuntsche, E. and Labhart, F. (2014), The future is now—using personal cellphones to gather data on substance use and related factors. Addiction, 109: 1052–1053. doi:10.1111/add.12540
    Wittek, C. T., Finserås, T. R., Pallesen, S., Mentzoni, R. A., Hanss, D., Griffiths, M. D., & Molde, H. (2016). Prevalence and predictors of video game addiction: A study based on a national representative sample of gamers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 14(5), 672-686. doi:10.1007/s11469-015-9592-8

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