Are sociopaths more likely to eschew Facebook?
A study released this week says that you're more likely to be a sociopath if you're not on Facebook.
According to German newsmagazine Der Tagesspiegel:
"Wake up young people who do not have a Facebook account, mistrust, then? Determined in some human resources departments in the U.S., there were at last aware of cases where heads of their applicants requested the access to their profile. Who does not have a profile, for which there is no job offer, because he has something to hide."
Which, we think means, if you don't have a Facebook profile, you are some sort of suspicious, antisocial predator who won't be able to get a job.
(No wait, scratch that. Even Predator is on Facebook.)
But, it does make a modicum of sense. How much of a social pariah do you have to be to not have a network of friends, family members, acquaintances, and/or fans? Who doesn't want to proudly announce to the world that they are "in a relationship" (and then frantically hope that no one noticed when they got e-dumped?). And who among us these days doesn't take embarrassing photos, intending them to be uploaded and shared with the world?
Basically, who doesn't have friends? And who doesn't want to publicize this fact to the world?
Who does Der Tagesspiegel point to as evidence of this "theory"? Alleged Aurora theatre gunman James Holmes, who not only didn't have a Facebook profile but also did not have a presence on YouTube, and Norway's Anders Breivik, the anti-Facebook profiler who is accused of murdering 69 people in a mass shooting.
However, as someone who gave up her Facebook profile over six months ago, I must tell you that part of the reason I did so is because I felt Facebook was actually turning me into a sociopath. I'd spend hours mindlessly clicking through photos of ex-boyfriends and old friends with new families, thinking, "Yeah, glad I avoided that". I've literally lost hours of my life looking up former classmates and acquaintances, wondering about the appropriateness of renewing contact—and then fiendishly cackling when my life seemed have turned out way better than their lives did.
In short, I was (and arguably still am) a horrible person.
Facebook made me evil, not the other way around. But I swear, I'm much better now.
Follow recovering sociopath Miranda Nelson on Twitter.