Narcissists and social media: a (self-)love story

Narcissists and social media: a (self-)love story

We all have those annoying Facebook friends who simply can’t stop posting selfies. As soon as they cross the threshold of a location, they create a check-in status, and never fail to inform us if they feel “excited” or “relaxed” there. Eventually, we block such people, but aren’t we all like that at times? Psychologists warn that narcissistic, self-exposing behavior is on the rise nowadays, and many blame social media for that. A modern pandemic Indeed, studies show that the levels of subclinical narcissism, or the personality trait that all…

Emojis: why we love them so much and what they mean

Emojis: why we love them so much and what they mean

Those colorful symbols appear everywhere – even as decoration in high-fashion collections and, very soon, in movies. Yes, emojis have left the digital realm and firmly entrench themselves in today’s popular culture. They have also changed the ways we communicate. A new language The world can sigh with relief: a set of 72 new emojis is coming to our devices, amongst which are the (much needed) avocado, selfie and facepalm. New additions to the Unicode Standard, the character coding system that supports emoji rendering on different platforms, always create a…

The secret language of profile photos

The secret language of profile photos

Headshots, kittens or group selfies – the profile photos we choose reveal a great deal about us. Here are some interesting findings on how to interpret them. The stamp on the envelope Profile pictures are our self-chosen public representations. These visuals show how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen by others, which makes them extremely intriguing to psychologists. A research team at the University of Pennsylvania recently found that certain personality traits determine what images we use. The scientists analyzed 66.000 Twitter profile photos and estimated…

Gender and social media

Gender and social media

Ever wondered why there are more women than men on Pinterest? Or noticed that trolls are often male? Take a look at some fascinating gender-specific behaviors on social. News vs friendships To start with the basics: while men are online to search for information, women use the platforms predominantly to connect with people. Studies also show that men open social media accounts to network and form new relationships, and women – to sustain existing ones. Content kings and queens Female Facebook users tend to share more personal issues (e.g., family…

The psychology of foodstagramming

The psychology of foodstagramming

Take a brief scroll at your Instagram feed. Chances are, you will spot a food photo. Indeed #food, #foodporn #instafood and #yummy are amongst the 100 most popular Instagram hashtags in 2016 (Websta). Together they result in 438,921,588 photos. That means food is the most photographed thing on the platform, even if we count out all other hashtags that refer to meals unobtrusively. Food photos are huge on social media because they are both easy-to-produce and relevant to everyone. First, they are a quick way to show others what we…

How reading online comments affects us

How reading online comments affects us

Do you often scroll down news articles or social media posts to read (and relish) the comments below? It’s our common foible. Out of boredom or curiosity, at times we all like to imbibe the wisdom of the crowd. Skimming through comments, however, is not a harmless pastime. Psychology has tons to say about online opinions and the ways these affect us. Anonymous pandemonium Some claim you should never read the comments, and for good reasons. Comment sections on websites and blogs are touted as the darkest places on the…