In this week's The New York Times Magazine, Well columnist Tara Parker-Pope asks, "Does Facebook turn people into narcissists?" which, when paired with The Atlantic's own recent cover story by Stephen Marche, "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" leads us to wonder whether we're all a bunch of isolated self-obsessed twits.
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Parker-Pope offers some interesting research to make the case that Facebook is populated with a lot of self-involved users:
Those who frequently updated their Facebook status, tagged themselves in photos and had large numbers of virtual friends, were more likely to exhibit narcissistic traits, the [Western Illinois University] study found.
But both The Times and The Atlantic stories offer the same caveat, which is that we don't know whether Facebook turns us into loners/narcissists or whether it just attracts more of them (us?) to the site. We'd guess the latter. You see, on narcissism, we feel as if we have some expertise. Just look at how we turned this post about Facebook into one about The Atlantic's cover story. (Which, you really should read!) God, we're good at this. Did you know The Atlantic Wire is on Facebook?