Every gay who’s any gay has them – friends, frenemies and potential dates who post way too many selfies on social media. Or maybe it’s you. Now there’s proof that men who do it aren’t just narcissists, but a touch psychopathic. Because science.
Social scientists at Ohio State delved deep into the minds of men who over-share selfies to reveal something creepier than that initial eyeroll when Mr. Cute ButStopIt posts his umpteenth shot of the week.
“We are all concerned with our self-presentation online, but how we do that may reveal something about our personality,” says Jesse Fox, lead author of the study that interviewed 800 men aged 18-40 about their online habits.
The selfie habits were paired with answers about anti-social behaviors, insecurity and self-objectification. Men who edited their selfies more often before posting scored higher in narcissism and self-objectification.
So guys who post lots of selfies are insecure and self absorbed? Duh. But it’s more than that, the researcher tells the school paper.
“It’s not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic,” Fox says. “The more interesting finding is that they also score higher on this other anti-social personality trait, psychopathy, and are more prone to self-objectification.”
Self-objectification involves valuing yourself mainly for your appearance, rather than for other positive traits.
“We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women,” Fox said. “With the growing use of social networks, everyone is more concerned with their appearance. That means self-objectification may become a bigger problem for men, as well as for women.”
Psychopathy involves a lack of empathy and regard for others and a tendency toward impulsive behavior. Not everyone who posts an occasional selfie is psychopathic of course, and a supplemental study says that a little self-absorbed and irresponsible psychopathy online might actually get you laid. Again, because science.
The worst part of all this is that selfie addiction feeds itself. The study found that more selfies leads to more feedback from friends online, which encourages them to post even more photos of themselves. It’s a viscious cycle.
We’re looking at you, guys who can’t get out of bed without a minimum 20 likes on your wakeup look. And to the rest of you, you’re not doing your potential psychos any favors by responding to the constant updates – no matter how hot his abs look today.
So let's update our crazy-popular post from last year, What you need to know about those sexy selfies, with this: A little goes a long way. Science says so.