Informal Study: California, Home of Social Media Narcissism

January 12, 2015

2:30 pm

While reality TV often portrays California as a state rampant with narcissists, there hasn’t ever really been any proof of this in any kind of concrete sense. Now, though, it seems we’ve got some data to back that back – at least, according to an informal study conducted by HeyLets, a San Francisco, CA-based startup whose social platform allows users to share their favorite experiences through its Android and iOS apps. The company recently surveyed 2,500 Americans on their social media activity, looking specifically at the number of their self-promotional posts (including trips to special locations, attendance at major/memorable events, and professional news such as promotions). After observing the responses, HeyLets found that California ranked as the top state for social media narcissism – with 77 percent of responders reporting that they engaged in self-promotion.

Self-promotion and narcissism aren’t necessarily mutually inclusive, though; indeed, considering the standards utilized by HeyLets in analyzing the data, it’s not necessarily the case that the people who posted things that fell within those specific categories of “self-promotion” are actually narcissistic. HeyLets doesn’t clarify, but depending on whether or not a post on social media was an isolated case or part of a string of normal occurrences, then it’s hard, really, to determine whether California is actually the most self-absorbed state (per social media activity). I mean, there’s a huge discrepancy between someone who posts constantly about going on so-and-so trip versus a person who posts once about a job achievement simply because he/she is feeling truly #blessed.

The findings from HeyLets are interesting nonetheless. Check out their rankings of states with the highest levels of social media narcissism. Additionally, check out the states with the lowest numbers of social media narcissism.

States with Highest Levels of Social Media Narcissism:

  1. California (77% percent frequently engage in self-promotion)
  2. Washington (76%)
  3. Nevada:  (72%)
  4. Maryland  (70%)
  5. New Hampshire (69%)
  6. Illinois (67%)
  7. Virginia (66%)
  8. Oklahoma (64%)
  9. New Jersey (60%)
  10. New York (58%)
  11. South Dakota (57%)
  12. Delaware (57%)
  13. Colorado (55%)
  14. Alabama (55%)
  15. Kentucky (54%)
  16. Indiana (53%)
  17. Georgia (52%)
  18. Minnesota (52%)
  19. Florida (51%)
  20. Texas (51%)

States with Lowest Levels of Social Media Narcissism:

  1. Utah (22%)
  2. Oregon (26%)
  3. South Carolina (33%)
  4. Kansas (34%)
  5. Arizona (34%)
  6. Arkansas (37%)
  7. Pennsylvania (39%)
  8. Massachusetts (40%)
  9. Rhode Island (40%)
  10. Wisconsin (41%)
  11. Connecticut (43%)
  12. Ohio (44%)
  13. North Carolina (45%)
  14. Maine (46%)
  15. Michigan (47%)
  16. Tennessee (47%)
  17. Missouri (48%)
  18. Louisiana (48%)
  19.  Mississippi (49%)
  20. Iowa (49%)

 Read more about HeyLets’ study from their blog. Visit their website to learn more about the company. 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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