Have You Become a Social Media Psychopath?

Jul 09, 2014

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American adults spend about eight hours a day using technology, with a lot of that time spent on social media. Kids spend an average of 11 hours a day using technology, if you include social media, texting, messaging and smartphone browsing.

Some new data reveals that all that time on social media may be turning some into psychopaths. 

A psychopath is someone that suffers from a chronic mental disorder exhibiting abnormal social behaviors such as lying, pathological egocentricity, antisocial behavior and poor behavioral controls.

Information recently released (Source) looks into four specific effects that social media has had on people. These behavioral changes are bordering on psychopathic.   

1: People tend to lie more on social media.

For example, 30 percent of women lie about doing something, when in reality, they're home alone.  Next, 20 percent of Facebook users lie about holiday activities or jobs.  And finally, 25 percent say that they have falsified account information.

2: People are becoming more antisocial.

For example, 24 percent of people miss important moments because they are too busy trying to share the moment on social media.  About half of respondents said they check social media while at dinner and show more concern for the people online than those with whom they are having dinner. And 40 percent of people socialize more online than face-to-face.

3: People are becoming self-obsessed.

There are over 90 million "selfies" posted on Instagram. One survey revealed that 46 percent of participants had Googled their own name within the prior 24 hours, while only 6 percent of participants had never Googled their name.

4: People have poor behavioral controls.

Cyberbullying has become more widespread.  For instance, 42 percent of young people have been victims of cyberbullying, with 28 percent of kids ages 11 to 16 having experienced online bullying.  Social media has also created a strain on relationships: one-fourth of people said there were difficulties in their relationship because of "confrontational online behavior." 

Lying, antisocial behavior, pathological egocentricity, and poor behavioral controls are some of the traits that psychopaths have, and many people are exhibiting these traits in their social media behavior.

Parental controls help parents can keep tabs on their teen's social media behavior with "social media monitoring" software.  This is a new category of filtering software to help busy parents monitor a child's friends, pictures, comments, and more on social media.

So, while about 50 percent of people say that social media has changed their life for the better, be aware they might be lying.