If you’ve spent significant time around a narcissist, you might have noticed that they are really into social media.
Many narcissists love social media platforms because it gives them access to an unlimited amount of narcissistic supply. It doesn’t matter when a narcissist posts an update, shares a picture, or tweets an opinion; there’s always someone online ready to validate, admire, and reassure them.
In this article, I will guide you through seven reasons narcissists love social media so you can better understand why so many narcissists are obsessed with it.
1.) It Gives Them a Platform for Self-Presentation
The first reason that narcissists are typically drawn toward social media is that it gives them a platform for self-presentation.
Social media offers a stage for carefully curating one’s image.
Due to their grandiose sense of self-importance and craving for admiration, narcissists often see this as an opportunity to construct an idealized online persona.
This may include sharing achievements, showcasing wealth or beauty, or demonstrating knowledge and expertise through the posts they make.
This is a big deal for a narcissist because it fulfills their need for validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control, also known as narcissistic supply.
Suggested Reading: What Is Narcissistic Supply and Why Do They Need It So Badly?
2.) It Gives Them Narcissistic Supply
The second reason narcissists enjoy social media is that it is a huge source of narcissistic supply for them.
As mentioned in the previous section, narcissistic supply is validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control.
If you didn’t know already, narcissists use supply to suppress painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions to construct a positive self-perception.
Why is this relevant?
Well, when used “correctly,” social media’s structure provides constant and immediate positive feedback. For narcissists, this feedback is a vital source of narcissistic supply.
Every like, share, comment, or new follower they gain fuels their need for validation, admiration, reassurance, power, and control.
This is because narcissists interpret these digital affirmations as proof of their exceptional status, justifying their grandiose self-perception.
3.) It Allows Them to Gain More Control Over Their Interactions
The third reason narcissists tend to like social media is because it gives them more control over their interactions.
What do I mean by this?
Well, in face-to-face interactions, gaining control can be hard for narcissists, especially when the person they interact with sets healthy boundaries with them.
Suggested Reading: How to Set Boundaries with a Narcissist (6 Steps)
However, social media offers a certain level of control that enables narcissists to dictate the terms of their social exchanges.
They can choose when to engage, who to engage with, and how to respond.
For example, if someone criticizes or disagrees with them, they can block or unfollow that person.
This ability puts narcissists in a position from which they can maintain their grandiose self-perception, filter out negative feedback, and amplify positive echoes that fuel their need for constant validation and admiration.
4.) It Allows Them to Compare Themselves to Others
The fourth reason narcissists are typically drawn to social media is because it allows them to compare themselves to others.
Generally speaking, narcissists use these comparisons to reaffirm their feelings of superiority or to identify those they perceive as threats to their self-image.
For example, imagine you know a narcissist who uses social media.
They may follow accounts of successful individuals and constantly compare their own posts with theirs.
If a person they follow posts about a new job or a recent vacation, the narcissist might see it as a threat to their self-perceived status.
They may then respond by posting about their own achievements or luxury experiences to assert their perceived superiority.
Conversely, if the narcissist encounters posts from people sharing less grandiose experiences, they may feel validated in their own superiority.
For instance, they may internally gloat over their own expensive holiday when someone else posts about a simple staycation.
If this seems bizarre, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Nonetheless, narcissists are drawn to social media because it allows them to compare themselves to others.
5.) It Helps Them Maintain Status and Popularity
The fifth reason that narcissists typically like social media is because the metrics that social media uses feeds their insecure need for narcissistic supply.
What do I mean by this?
Well, for narcissists, numbers matter.
They view the number of followers, likes, comments, or shares as markers of their status and popularity.
For example, a high follower count or numerous likes on a post can be seen as proof of their grandiose sense of self-importance.
So, if you have a narcissist in your life who seems a little too attached to their social media, this could be why.
It isn’t uncommon for narcissists to invest a considerable amount of time and effort in strategies to increase their social media numbers because these metrics feed their need for supply and gives them tangible proof of their perceived popularity and influence.
6.) It Gives Them the Ability to Manipulate Others
The sixth reason that narcissists tend to like social media is because it gives them the ability to manipulate others.
There are many ways they can do this, but I will focus on their tendency to manipulate the perception of others to align with their grandiose self-image.
I mentioned this in a previous section, but social media allows narcissists to control the aspects of their life that others see.
Narcissists frequently use this as an opportunity to construct an idealized online persona by displaying an extravagant lifestyle, showing off their successes, or presenting themselves as intellectually superior.
By doing this, they can create a compelling narrative that maintains their grandiose self-image and manipulates others into admiring them.
As you can imagine, being able to do this gives them access to a tremendous amount of narcissistic supply and is one of the many reasons narcissists like social media.
7.) It Gives Them an Ever-Present Audience
The seventh reason narcissists are drawn to social media is because it gives them an ever-present audience.
As I’ve highlighted throughout this entire article, a fundamental characteristic of narcissism is the need for constant admiration and attention.
Social media provides an ‘always-on’ audience, available 24/7 across time zones.
Regardless of when a narcissist posts an update, shares a picture, or tweets an opinion, there’s always someone online to provide immediate feedback.
This continuous audience availability perfectly suits the narcissist’s need for endless admiration and attention and ensures that their narcissistic supply never runs dry.
Suggested Reading: What Happens When a Narcissist Runs Out of Narcissistic Supply?
What Should You Take Away from This Article?
Narcissists love social media platforms. Of course, this isn’t true for all narcissists.
But a large majority of narcissist love social media platforms because the provide them with an endless wave of narcissistic supply.
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This information is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for clinical care. Please consult a healthcare provider for guidance specific to your case. This article discusses narcissism in general.