Why do some people update their Facebook status and share funny personal anecdotes, while others declare their love to their partner, express political opinions or tell details of their dinner in the city?
Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, Status update is one of the users' favorite features.
Indeed, it allows them to share their thoughts, feelings and daily activities with their friends, who then have the opportunity to "like", share and comment. We assume that you already know all these aspects, so we will go straight to the point.
Even though status updates are widely used on Facebook, there are few studies that have looked at the predictors that would determine what each user chooses to share.
Researchers have tried to examine the link that exists between certain personalities and the frequency of updating the statutes. These can be grouped in the following categories :
- Social activities and everyday life.
- Intellectual activities.
- Success, diet and physical activity.
- The significant relationships.
The study also raised the question of whether these posts were motivated by one of the reasons urging users to use Facebook: the need for recognition (the search for attention and validation), the self- expression (the disclosure of personal opinions, anecdotes and complaints of everyday life), communication (the need to correspond and connect with others) or the sharing of impersonal information (about news events, for example).
Another goal of this study was to examine whether people post statuses more frequently on certain topics than on others., and compare the "likes" and comments they received for these updates.
Those who update their status most regularly would experience the benefits of social inclusion, while those who do not would have a lower sense of belonging and self-esteem.
People who mention in their Facebook status their diets, their daily physical exercises and their success, are people who have a strong propensity to narcissism, according to this study. On the other hand, it is true that talking about one's success attracts more attention from one's virtual "friends".
For the individual, the narcissistic exhibition on Facebook is validated by the fact that he obtains more "likes" and comments than if he evoked other subjects in his statutes.
Even though the results of the study suggest that Facebook friends who comment on this kind of status are motivated by good intentions (support for a project), they might secretly have an aversion to this kind of selfish exhibition.
Messages revealing self-esteem at half-mast
The study found that people who publish updates on their current couple status are the ones who are most likely to have low self-esteem.
Other associations between personality and the use of Facebook
The study revealed other relationships between personality and Facebook usage:
- People who are more aware and have children tend to write messages about them.
- People who have an extrovert tendency update their status by referring to their social activities and their daily lives.
- Anxious people who want to open up and communicate with others, use Facebook to share information and to discuss intellectual themes.
Why do Facebook users write on their wall?
It is not very surprising to learn that Facebook status updates reflect personality traits of users of this social network.
However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics rather than others, and why they are "rewarded" differently, in terms of "likes" and comments, depending on the things they publish.
The people receiving the most "rewards" are those who want to experience the benefits of social inclusion, while those who do not receive many may feel somewhat ostracized.
The conclusions of the study on the use of Facebook
– It is possible to extract determining factors of the personality of the users through the updates of the statutes Facebook.
– Outgoing people more frequently update their status by referring to their social activities.
– Social openness is positively associated with the updating of statutes on intellectual themes.
– Self-esteem is negatively associated with updating on topics related to the couple and romance.
– Narcissistic personalities update their status by talking about their successes, their diets or their physical activities.
To conclude this article, we must mention two very interesting points. In the first place, it should be warned that the advertising is even more focused on what we publish on social networks, than on the sites we visit.
It's a mine of information for brands that claim to optimize the relationship they have with us, using what we share.
On the other hand, a pilot study suggested that, in the future, it would be possible to communicate with a deceased person, thanks to the information that they have shared on social networks.
Using algorithms, it would theoretically be possible to create a computer profile that would communicate in a very similar way to that of the missing person.
Can you imagine it? How do you think we would assimilate it?