In a recent study based on 555 respondents, researchers took a hard look at the science behind Facebook status posts, in an attempt to find what drives some people to predominantly talk about the hype of the last night’s party and others to share with their friends a short review of the book they just finished reading.
It was no surprise that among the Facebook users who exhibit a more extroverted personality, updates about their active social life and posts about their accomplishments were rather frequent. In their need to be in constant connection with others (in this case, their Facebook “friends”), extroverts are motivated to post about whatever goes on in their lives.
Narcissists – medically diagnosable or not – are part of this group. They use Facebook as a tool to satisfy their attention-seeking and validation, and scientists discovered their status updates are usually about accomplishments, new diets or exercise routines. A selfie or two in the gym’s mirror are not uncommon.
UK researchers published their results in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, explaining that narcissists who constantly offer updates on their accomplishments usually receive more “likes” and comments.
At the same time, Facebook users who are sociable and exhibit high levels of openness have a tendency of joining conversations on intellectual topics. They see Facebook for what it is: a place for sharing information.
Researchers also noticed that people who struggled with a lower self-esteem were more likely to offer updates with and about their romantic partners; honest people, on the other hand, have a higher proneness to talk about their children.
Having low-esteem and displaying it through self-disclosure on Facebook is more likely to be perceived as an undesirable trait to have, but these users believe in the advantage of using Facebook for their needs rather than try and solve their issues in person. Their status updates are usually more negative, which means other people might see them as less likable.
However, the results of the study should be taken with a grain of salt, as the researchers from Brunel University in the UK said they might be altered by the fact that data was self-reported.
This means some narcissists, for example, may boost the number of likes and comments they receive to updates; low-esteem users might do the same, though, for fearing they might be pathetic if they reported the actual numbers.
There is also the problem of the authenticity of likes – it is not uncommon that people may hit the “like” button on a friend’s achievement-related updates only out of support, when in fact they disapprove of such displays.
Even so, your Facebook updates say a lot about who you are and how you perceive yourself as a human being. And make no mistake, your friends can see it, too.
Image Source: The Fox