Facebook says a lot more about you than what music you like or where you ate dinner last night. How you use the social network actually shows a lot about your personality.
Psychologists at Brunel University in London gathered 555 Facebook users to try to figure out the correlation between our personalities and what we post on Facebook. Participants were asked to fill out online surveys, measuring the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness), self-esteem and narcissism. Through this method, researchers found that who we are has a direct influence on what we post on Facebook.
The results will reveal some truths you’ve always suspected (that one Facebook friend really is looking for attention) and will probably cause some revelations about yourself. If anything, you may go a little easier on some of your Facebook friends. They’re just being themselves, after all.
People who constantly update everyone on their relationship.
All those sickeningly perfect couples who post updates of themselves out and about probably aren’t worth your envy. Researchers found that these users’ behavior is tied to low self-esteem and insecurity.
So, why post that “I have the best boyfriend in the world!” status? The bragging is linked to a need to boost self-worth and reassure themselves that the relationship is still strong.
If you find them annoying, you’re not alone. These posts get fewer likes and, not surprisingly, make these people less likable to their Facebook friends.
Rein in the gushy posts, lovebirds!
People who frequently post updates about their children.
These people are conscientious, using Facebook less than their peers.
Users in this category stick with “safe” topics, like family news and funny moments in their every day life. Maybe their no-gossip policy is why they also have more Facebook friends than other personality types.
We’re sure the photos of their adorable kids don’t hurt their popularity either.
People who post about politics and intellectual beliefs.
Don’t start calling your friend who’s getting her doctorate in sociology a “know-it-all” just yet. She’s actually open-minded, curious and creative.
Instead of using Facebook to post photos of food (we’ve all done it, there’s no shame in it) or concert selfies, this person’s main focus is giving need-to-know information about causes that could use some attention. So, if they’re sharing a link, you should probably click on it to make sure you’re not oblivious to an important issue.
People who are all about the drama.
We all have a love-hate relationship with this person. On the one hand, it’s devilishly entertaining to see all their drama play out online. (We’ll take a front row seat to an argument with their former best friend!) On the other hand, it’s annoying to know someone’s personal business all the time, even though you haven’t had a personal conversation with them in years.
Researchers say these drama lovers are actually just neurotic. That neuroticism causes these people to feel anxious, so they use Facebook to get attention they feel is lacking from their off-line life. This personality type is using the social network for validation, posting things that are emotional and deeply personal.
People who are always surrounded by a large group of friends.
This one’s a no-brainer. These users are extroverted, creating a lot of friendships with their talkative and gregarious nature. For them, Facebook is just another way to be social and to broadcast their healthy social life.
You know those friends who post photos of themselves at large dinner parties, featuring a different group of friends each time? They fit into this group.
People who are always posting their gym selfies.
This just confirmed what you’ve suspected all along—this person is probably a narcissist.
These people take great care in their personal appearance and are looking for attention, so they boast about their accomplishments. That Facebook friend who’s always taking photos of herself in the gym dressing room? She’s in this category.
These people do get a lot of “likes,” but there’s a big catch. Researchers say most people hit the “like” button or comment just to be polite. Many users secretly hate the bragging these people do.
We don’t really need to see a photo every time it’s “leg day,” alright?