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The Role of Narcissism in Profile Picture Selection Essay

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As technology becomes increasingly a major part of our everyday lives, much of our interpersonal communication and interactions occurs online through online networks. Within the past decade, the introduction of social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, places a new emphasis on first impressions. Instead of engaging in interpersonal communication and forming our own first impressions, an individual’s online profile picture presents a digital first impression, portraying one’s physical appearance, personality and character to their audience. As a society, we are motivated to constantly update, maintain and grow our online presences, gaining more connections, friends and followers via these social networking sites.
Sanja Kapidzic, author of “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Institut fur Kommunikationswisschenschaft und Medienforschung in Munchen, Germany, discusses a study regarding the correlation between narcissism and the personalization of online profile portrayal. In this study titled “Narcissism as a Predictor of Motivations Behind Facebook Profile Picture Selection,” Sanja Kapidzic focuses his research on the relationship between narcissism and the motivation behind self-presentation through profile pictures. By definition, narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification from vanity and egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes that derive from arrogant pride.” In relation to the study, narcissism relates to the online self-presentation of individuals with constant status updates or the display of self-promoting pictures pieces of media. Social networking sites allow narcissistic individuals the platform to present their prof...


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...g physical attractiveness and personality in the motivation of selecting photos. By comparing this conclusion to my own personal experiences on social networking sites, I agree with the statement that narcissism is a motivation factor in portraying a certain image to our online audience. However, it is how we choose to portray our personality and character through visual images that indicates the apparent level of narcissism. Driven by a social networking dominated culture, the motivation to present one’s best self-image online has become innate. In conclusion, if a single profile picture can form a lasting first impression, why not make it memorable?



Works Cited

Kapidzic, S. (2013). Narcissism as a predictor of motivations behind Facebook profile picture selection. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking, 16(1), 14-19. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0143


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