February 21, 2012
What Your Facebook Personality Says About You
Socializing on Facebook is a fantastic way to express yourself within your circle of friends while providing the best opportunity to peer into others’ lives. Facebook also reveals your personality tendencies as either braggarts or complainers. These are persons who use the popular “status updates” for unbridled self-indulgence.
Research reveals that Facebook can be tough on mental health particularly when it involves a large group of friends and is strongly associated with the site’s status update feature. The study was presented by the Society of Personality and Social Psychologists (SPSP) in San Diego, last month.
In its analysis, two self-esteem levels emerged, and it works something like this:
You connect on Facebook, suddenly entering a domain of kindred spirit and immediately feeling a sense of belonging. While socializing, you discover other linked groups that ask to friend them, further boosting your feeling of connectedness. As the threads run, your friends are competing, trumpeting their status achievements and comparing their lives to others on the site. What eventually unravels in your thread is reflective of a self-confident individual, bragging along with competitors or a self-loather, complaining to others about your crappy life.
Mudra Mukesh, a doctoral candidate in marketing says “for people with lots of friends…, the Facebook newsfeed turns into a parade of good news about other people’s lives: promotions, engagements, weddings, and new babies. Even if people know intellectually that people use Facebook to show off, all this information can make them feel worse about their own achievements or lack thereof.”
People use Facebook status updates to pump themselves up or complain. In a study published in the Journal of Psychological Science “people with low self-esteem view Facebook as a safe place to express themselves, than in face-to-face- interactions.” Individuals with low self-esteem vent their feelings with negative posts and are more inclined to depression after Facebooking.
The moral of the story is not that Facebook causes depression or encourages self-esteem issues but that it is a model of real life social interactions. The more circle of friends you have the more likely you will be exposed to ostentatious, self- indulgence from people at both ends of the spectrum. Being mindful of this fact will allow you to take it all in, at face-value only, and become comfortable in your own skin.
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