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Monday, February 6, 2023

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National Poll: Young People See Social Networking as Attention Seeking

SDSU researcher says social networking sites enhance self-centered traits of young people
By Gina Jacobs

Are social networking sites making us more narcissistic? According to a new poll, the generation who uses them the most seems to think so.  In a national poll of college students, 57 percent agreed that that people in their generation use social networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and MySpace) for self-promotion, narcissism and attention seeking.  

The poll also found that two-thirds agreed that their generation is more self-promoting, narcissistic, over-confident and attention seeking than previous generations.

The poll of 1,068 college students nationwide was conducted as a collaboration between Jean Twenge, associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University and Youth Pulse, LLC, which provides surveys, news and commentary about Generation Y.

“College students have clearly noticed the more self-centered traits of their peers – it's fascinating how honest they are about diagnosing their generation's downsides,” said Twenge, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. “And students are right about the influence of social networking sites – research has shown that narcissistic people thrive on sites like Facebook, where self-centered people have more friends and post more attractive pictures of themselves.”

Ninety-two percent of students in the poll said they use MySpace or Facebook regularly, and 84 percent said they go online several times each day.  

Twenge’s research in SDSU’s Department of Psychology examines how culture affects individuals -- particularly how the young generation is different and why.