What do Your Social Media Updates say about you? Updating pictures and several posts regularly on various social media platforms has become the latest trend for today’s generation of our society. They don’t have a life beyond that, For instance, they wake-up with a morning selfie and their day ends up with a good night post, etc. Many studies have proven that such posts are somewhere the output of their brain activity i.e. whatever are their thoughts which are continuously running through their mind are reflected in their posts up to an extent.
These youth try to express their emotions through their posts and that’s why observing the pattern of several posts of an individual can reveal a lot of stuff that is directly related to their personality. What they chose to post on social media reflects a lot about them may be directly or indirectly depending on the situation.
Well, this study in the “Journal of Personality of Individual Differences” reveals everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the relationship between status updates and personality types. Researchers Tara Marshall, Katharina Lefringhausen, and Nelli Ferenczi studied the effects of an individual’s self-esteem, levels of narcissism and the Big Five personality traits (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness) on status updates of an individual. They also concluded the purpose of such posts i.e. either they are meant for gaining public attention or they are for self-expression in order to interact with someone to escape their loneliness.
For obtaining qualitative results, researchers first categorized the posts that people used to post into the following categories:
• Social activities and everyday life (social activities, something interesting that happened to them, everyday activities, pets, sporting events, etc.)
• Intellectual thoughts (views on politics, current events, research/science)
• Achievements (achieving goals, their own creative output, accomplishments, anything related to work or school)
• Exercise and diets
• Personal emotions and family related posts.
After this, researchers started their study on 555 Facebook users (59 percent female and 41 percent male) and conducted several tests to check their levels of self-esteem and narcissism as well as Big Five Personality traits.
They also asked the participants how often they used Facebook, how many “likes” they usually got on their status updates and how frequently they posted about the topics listed above. After this, they started observing the pattern and concluded on a common result.
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• Based on the study, people who have lower self-esteem, usually update their post related to the romantic and true relationship.
• On the opposite side, the narcissist posts status related to their achievements in order to receive appreciation which reveals that they are in need of public attention.
• People possessing higher narcissism often posts regarding their exercise and dieting routines with the purpose of self-expression.
This results that narcissists’ posts in order “to express their personal importance they possess on physical appearance.”
• Extrovert people generally post in the context of social activities i.e. daily activities and connect with new people.
• Neurotic people post updates for validation and to gain attention and support.
• Those people who enjoy their life and are open-minded in nature generally share intellectual thoughts related posts.
• People possessing higher conscientiousness update posts more frequently which are related to their children, perhaps “an indirect form of competitive parenting.”