How Is Your Personality Reflected in the Way You Use Facebook?
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love that it keeps me in touch with friends that I haven’t seen for ages, but it can also be a huge source of irritation. I have one friend that constantly posts increasingly hostile and angry political rants and another who…no joke…updates her status at least fifteen times a day from the point of view of her dog. But I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s okay and what’s not okay to post on Facebook. Is it a diary? A message board? A soapbox? A cheap form of therapy? All of the above? Everyone approaches Facebook differently. But if that’s the case, how do you know when you’re in danger of becoming a bad Facebook friend? Below, we’ve included a handy guide to help you identify some of the most common bad Facebook habits that people with your personality style often fall victim to.
Personality Type D: The Publicist
Their kids are always immaculate and fashionably dressed. Their house is clean and elegantly decorated. They take exotic vacations and are photographed holding hands with their significant other, beautifully tan and smiling. It’s like they live in an alternate universe where their kids never misbehave, they get everything they want, they never lose their tempers, and the future is always bright and trouble-free. The Publicist has elevated the “humble brag” to an art form. Through the selective editing of their daily lives, they’re able to project a fairy tale image of their everyday existence that makes the chaos and messiness of everyone else’s lives look positively sad in comparison. When we compare our lives to the Publicist, we can never measure up.
The Publicist is a Facebook style that is typically born from hyper-competitive D personality types. Competitive D personalities measure their own success against the success of others, which may be why they feel the need to project a perfect Facebook image. Unfortunately, that image is rarely authentic and seldom resonates with people as genuine. That kind of constant boasting also just might get you unfriended.
The Fix: If this is a bad Facebook habit that describes you, try to spend less time creating the perfect virtual self and more time connecting with other people on an emotional level. Make an effort to focus the occasional post on what you think and feel, as opposed to where you’ve gone and what you’ve done. You might be surprised at the positive reaction you get.
Personality Type I: The Bullhorn
I personality types are fun, energetic, and outgoing. They love to talk and are extremely social. But when there’s no one around to talk to in person, I personalities tend to use Facebook as a surrogate BFF. When they’re bored, I personalities will post anything and everything on Facebook. It’s their way of shouting “I AM HERE!” into the electronic void. The problem is that sometimes the Bullhorn posts way too often, sometimes on topics that are way too personal. In an effort to be funny or to get a reaction, they might even cross the line and reveal something that the casual acquaintances they’ve collected on Facebook really didn’t need to know. If you’ve ever posted “TMI” as a response to one of your Facebook friend’s status updates, you’re probably dealing with a Bullhorn.
The Fix: If you’ve posted more than four times in a day, close down the computer and walk away. Call a friend. Go somewhere where you can be around people. You need the stimulation! And remember, if it’s not a status update you’d be comfortable with your grandparents reading, think twice before posting it.
Personality Type S: People-Pleaser
People with S personalities are natural-born mediators. They’re wonderful at diffusing conflict, thanks in part to their diplomatic nature and their amazing capacity for empathy. Unfortunately, on social media it’s almost impossible to please everyone. On Facebook, the desire to make everyone happy combined with a fear of offending can cause S personality types to whitewash all of their posts to the point where their personality is completely snuffed out. Typical status updates include “It's a little cold today. Stay warm everyone,” and “Headed to the gym!” Yawn.
The Fix: The People-Pleaser hides their personality behind innocuous comments because they think they’re pleasing everyone. The reality is that they’re actually pleasing no one. There’s nothing that people hate more than a boring status update. (It’s true. Google it!) Stop making Facebook about what other people might think and take the chance that your friends really want to know you. Let your personality come through. After all, they ‘friended’ you in the first place. Isn’t that a good sign that they already like you?
Personality Type C: The Scorekeeper
People with a C personality are perfectionists, and they hate to be criticized. They do, however, love being recognized for a job well done. On Facebook, this translates to obsessively crafting the perfect witty Facebook status and then checking back over and over again to monitor the number of likes and comments their post gets. The more positive reaction it gets, the better the post was. A well-liked post is the best kind of validation for a Scorekeeper. They get a natural rush of endorphins from watching the number of likes grow. On the flip side, though, a post that doesn’t reach their expectations for likes can send them spiraling into depression… “I thought that was funny. Where did I go wrong??”
The Fix: There’s no way you’re going to completely stop caring about how your status updates are received. A reasonable solution is to instigate a self-imposed Facebook “time out” after posting. Choose a time period, say an hour, and don’t go back to check what people have said about your post until then. Once you get away from the habit of constantly obsessively monitoring things, Facebook will lose some of its power over you.