Have Researchers Linked Social Media and Narcissism?

by South University 4 October 2013

Have you ever suspected that some of your social media contacts may be a little more self-obsessed than is healthy? Now, a recent study suggests that a relationship exists between high levels of social media use and narcissism.

Social Media likes

Could this be a reason to break your social media habits before it does permanent damage to your personality?

Studying Social Media and Narcissism

Published in Computers in Human Behavior, this study examined the psychology of adults in various age groups, and looked for correlations between narcissistic traits and excessive use of social media. One finding that stood out strongly from the research was the fact that young adults who scored highly on narcissism tests posted more often on Twitter than those whose scores fell in the normal range.

Middle-aged narcissists, meanwhile, chose a different outlet for their social media outpourings, preferring to post status updates on Facebook. However, the general trend remained the same - the more narcissistic individuals updated more often than those with more typical psychologies.

What is Narcissism?

The researchers conducting this study used a personality assessment to evaluate the participants' levels of certain traits—including superiority, exhibitionism, authority, willingness to exploit others, and self-sufficiency. These traits are typically associated with narcissistic personality disorder, in which individuals fixate on their own power and prestige.

Could use of social media be linked with narcissism? Researcher Elliot Panek thinks so. He describes how Facebook allows individuals to curate and control their online image, and to gain approval from others within their social circle. Meanwhile, Twitter acts as a platform for narcissistic individuals to broadcast their opinions to a wide audience.

Correlation or Causation?

Before you rush online to shut down your social media accounts, note that the researchers did not draw any conclusions about social media causing narcissistic tendencies to develop. It is not clear from this one study whether narcissistic people are naturally drawn to social media as a way of broadcasting their own thoughts and opinions, or whether excessive use of social media leads to the development of narcissistic traits.

This research was one of the first studies to look at the relationship between narcissistic traits and patterns of social media. Future research in this area of study could probe more deeply into this relationship to find out how different aspects of social media usage, such as posting status updates, reading posts by others, or commenting on content posted by other users, correlates with or even contributes to narcissistic psychology in adults of all ages.

Read more on this study here: You're So Vain: Study Links Social Media Use and Narcissism. Or, learn about our Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Program today! 

3 Ways Students Should Be Using Twitter

by South University 26 September 2013

When it comes to social media, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends and know the ins and outs of every site. Take Twitter, for example. Maybe you’ve created an account and a user name (your Twitter handle), but you’re not sure what’s next. How can using Twitter benefit a professional adult like you? It might surprise you to learn that Twitter can be extremely helpful in networking, building your professional reputation, and even searching for the next step in your career.

Twitter convo

1. Connect with industry colleagues.

Find and follow established companies and professionals in your field and possibly in your city. Pay attention to what they’re tweeting and when you see something you like or agree with, retweet it. Even better, reply with your opinion included.

Based on someone’s tweets, you can also start a conversation about a shared interest. Ask their opinion on something or recommend articles or sites you think they’ll enjoy. Connecting with someone on Twitter can be an easy way to start a professional relationship!

2. Build your professional reputation.

Start by choosing a Twitter handle that sounds professional and writing a bio that speaks to who you are and where you are in your career. Your tweets should reinforce whatever this bio says. If you say you’re a working mom, dedicated nurse and lifelong learner, that’s what you should tweet about. (Follow us @SuCampusCommon to see what we’re tweeting about.) Find articles that talk about things like balancing your personal and professional life, the benefits of education, or new trends in nursing. Even better, give your own advice on this topic. Build credibility by showing that you’re aware of what’s going on around you and that you have something to contribute.

3. Search for Jobs.

Did you know that jobs are often posted on Twitter? Search using hashtags and keywords to find job postings in your area. Try searching #Jobs, #JobOpening, #ApplyNow, or search for a combination of those with your career field – something like #HealthcareJobs or #ITJobs. Searching “#HealthcareJobs” and “Atlanta,” for example would allow you to narrow your search even further.

In addition, if you’re interested in specific companies, many organizations have Twitter accounts dedicated to job openings. Follow these accounts to know right away whenever a job in your field opens up!

Read More

4 Proactive Ways Job Seekers Should Use Twitter
How to Tweet Your Way to a Dream Job
4 Ways To Use Twitter To Find A Job
How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource

Facebook Graph Search: A Helpful Tool or Invasion of Privacy?

by South University 1 August 2013

Earlier in July, Facebook introduced a new feature called Graph Search. Now, when you type a user’s name in the search bar, Graph Search allows you to search for specific items including public posts, likes, location, photos and interests. You can use broad searches as well as more specific ones like "pictures of my family before 2011" or “Friends who live in Savannah and are nurses.”

Facebook search bar

Graph Search improves Facebook’s search functionality by taking information that was previously very hard to stitch together and making it easy to search, helping you to identify people with common interests and quickly find specific photos or content. However, if you can easily find this information about others, remember that your Facebook friends, friends of friends and even the public may be able to find the same information about you!

Protecting Your Privacy

With the introduction of Graph Search, it may be time to change your privacy settings—especially if you’re uncomfortable with people searching for your old Facebook pictures and statuses, or if you don’t like the idea of showing up in a search based on pages that you’ve liked and music or interests that you’ve listed on your page.

The easy way to protect yourself from unwanted privacy intrusions is to go to your privacy settings and click “limit past posts.” This will turn all old posts to a “friends only” status with the click of a button. However, if you want some things to stay public or to be visible to friends of friends, you’ll need to do it the manual way by clicking “Use Activity Log” and going through each post one by one, changing settings as needed.

Facebook Privacy

Business Insider created this great step-by-step guide to help you keep your information private. If you don’t have time for that right now, here are the basics:

1. Go to your Privacy Settings and check who can see your posts: public, friends, friends of friends, or only you.

2. If you want some posts to stay public, click "Use Activity Log" and scroll through your history, editing the privacy settings for each one as you go.

3. To change who can see your profile information, go to the “About” page on your profile and click the "edit" button next to each category.

What’s your opinion on Facebook's new Graph Search? Feel free to share your thoughts on the South University Facebook page!

What Pinterest Can Offer You

by South University 28 March 2013

Are you in search of ideas for reorganizing your office, a new healthy recipe, a quick workout routine or even just something to provide a good laugh? Check out Pinterest, a fun new tool for saving and organizing things you love.

Learn the Pinterest Lingo

Example of a pin

There’s new terminology to learn with every social media site, and, with Pinterest, you’ll need to become familiar with boards and pins. We recommend thinking about Pinterest as a collection of virtual bulletin “boards” to which you can attach your favorite pictures and links with virtual push “pins.”

The pictures you pin might be inspirational or might just be something you like. You can also pin links to sites or information that you think will eventually come in handy (pinning is similar to bookmarking web pages, only it's more visual).

Most people organize their boards by topic, so that they can easily find the pins when they are looking for them in the future. For example, you might have one board for party ideas, one for exercises and one for remodeling projects you’d like to do around the house. Most pins link to a website that includes the picture featured in the pin.

You can follow other people’s boards on topics you like so that you can see what they pin. Their pins will then appear in your feed, which is the first thing you see when you log in to Pinterest. You can even repin items that you like and that you want to save on your own board. If people like what you pin, they’ll follow your boards in return.

Get Pinning

If you’re new to Pinterest, you’ll need to set up an account and create your boards before you start pinning. Pinterest has some helpful forums that can get you going:

Joining Pinterest
Pins, repins and likes
Add, edit or delete a board
Following boards and people
And lots of other Pinterest basics

Start playing around. You’ll get the hang of it. In addition to re-pinning items you like, you can also install a “Pin It” button for your browser so that you can pin any image at any time while you are surfing the web.

If you have questions about Pinterest, post them on our Facebook page and we’ll try to help.

Pinterest logo

Find Us on Pinterest

Find us at http://pinterest.com/southunivonline/. Follow our boards to discover time-saving tips, career advice and more.

You can also create your own board titled “My South University” where you can pin photos that motivate you to keep going with your education or represent your field of study, your dream job or anything else you associate with your experience at South University. We look forward to seeing what pins you find!

The Internet and its Impact on the Healthcare Industry

by South University 27 June 2011

In today's society, we rely heavily on technology to gain access to information and to complete research. The information we acquire online can be a valuable tool, particularly when it comes to healthcare. For example, if we’re experiencing symptoms at a particular time, rather than heading directly to the doctor’s office, we can search online and find other individuals with similar symptoms and determine what they might mean. This culture of “needing to know” doesn’t eliminate the need to go to the doctor, but it creates a better informed, more connected community.

For example, an MSN Health article entitled “Is Social Networking Changing the Face of Medicine?” discusses the backlash incurred when new regulations proposed that women didn’t need to begin having mammograms until age fifty, as opposed to the previous guideline of forty. A number of women, who felt that beginning mammograms at forty may have saved their lives, took to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to express their outrage. In the end, the guidelines set forth by the American Cancer Society remained unchanged.

In the situation described above, it can be argued that public opinion and the use of technology only helped, but there’s a fine line between helpful and incorrect. As with any situation concerning the internet, it’s just as easy to broadcast incorrect information as it is to relay the facts. But there’s no denying that information can be a valuable tool if used wisely.