Researchers: Regular Facebook Users Lonely, Narcissistic

Regular Facebook users have higher levels of family loneliness and tend to be narcissistic, extroverted exhibitionists, while non-users are generally shy and conscientious, the Herald Sun reported Friday, citing Australian researchers.

Facebook "gratifies the narcissistic individual's need to engage in self-promoting and superficial behavior," according to the researchers from Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

Researchers Tracii Ryan and Dr. Sophia Xenos found a correlation between personality types and Facebook use, and between personality and the amount of time users spent on the site.

Ryan said it did not mean that all Facebook users were self-centered extroverts, but that they were more likely to have those personality traits.

"Extroverts crave instant gratification, and Facebook gives them this very quickly. Narcissists are looking for self-promotion -- they want to talk about themselves and are very self-focused, which suits the Facebook format," she said.

Ryan and Xenos also found a correlation between time spent on Facebook and those who were neurotic, generally lonely and conscientious -- but not those who were shy or romantically lonely.

The study, published in the latest "Computers in Human Behavior" journal, involved 1,158 Australian Facebook users and 166 non-users aged 18 to 44.

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