Argumentative Essay - Social Media Does Not Cause Narcissism

Published: 2021-06-23
615 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Argumentative essay
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Figures alone tell a convincing story of self-obsessions. More than 80m pictures uploaded to Instagram daily, more than 3.5bn likes every single day and approximately 1.4bn people announcing details of their lives on Facebook. Is social media changing a relatively modest species into a crowd of publicity-hungry narcissists? Or were we already naturally self-absorbed?

Psychologist Mc Mahon maintains that the link between social media use and narcissism is not so clear-cut. Academics debate over the data and how it is measured. On balance, there is a rise in narcissism, and there has been an increase in social media usage. But its not entirely obvious if there is an association. It could be that there is a broader cultural rise in narcissism in the West thats then reflected back in social media. For social media to have become so famous there has to have been pre-existing narcissism (Firestone, 2012).

According to a recent psychology research examining the relationship between narcissistic traits and self-promotional social media behavior. Users tallying high on narcissism scales tend to share and post more selfies, post more about their achievements, and edit the pictures they post of themselves more regularly. They use social media to earn attention from a public audience, and they get mad when others on their network don't comment or "like" on their posts. In short, narcissists behave online the same way that they behave offline (Anastasiadis, 2012).

Social media-minded millennial are the most narcissistic age in history, but a psychological study conducted by Shawn Bergman, an assistant professor of psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C showed that Facebook is not to blame for that image fixation. The research stated that obsessive social media use is not an indicator of narcissism, but rather a product of the times. Bergman and colleagues carried out a study investigating the relationships between narcissistic attributes among millennial and their social networking practices, and it turns out that those who showed high levels of narcissism didn't spend more time on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks than members with low levels of narcissism. I think people have made a causal association between Social media and higher levels of narcissism since they know this one highly narcissistic kid who is always online (Firestone, 2012).

Parents have overprotected and coddled their kids more over the generations and have influenced them, intentionally or not, to expect distinctive treatment just for being them. This mix with the self-esteem evolution in the schools has likely led to an increased narcissistic tendencies in our youth (Fishwick, 2016).

In general, social media platforms encourage self-promotion, as users generate all of the content But the truth is, the increase in narcissism among Millennial may have little to do with our social media and more to do with our social networks at home. Teachers and Parents are trying to inspire a healthy sense of self-esteem in children by approving them lavishly this in return often do more harm than good.


Anastasiadis, M., & Thimm, C. (2012). Social Media. doi:10.3726/978-3-653-01083-1

Firestone, L. (2012, November 29). Is Social Media to Blame For the Rise In Narcissism? Retrieved April 17, 2017, from

Fishwick, C. (2016, March 17). I, narcissist vanity, social media, and the human condition. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from

Is Social Media to Blame for the Rise in Narcissism? | The ... (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from,5065.1.

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