Researchers from the University of Florence in Italy suggest that vulnerable narcissists, who tend to be insecure and have lower self-esteem, are more likely to feel safer in online versus face-to-face interactions, which might lead them to prefer social networking as a means to gain approval and admiration.

In contrast, grandiose narcissists, who tend toward arrogance and exhibitionism are likely to seek out admiration more openly, rather than through social media.
"Since online interactions tend to have an indirect effect on an individual's social self-esteem, it is important to assess carefully for comorbid depression in those presenting with generalised problematic Internet use," said Brenda K Wiederhold, from the Interactive Media Institute in the US and Virtual Reality Medical Institute in Belgium.

The study was published in journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.