A survey by some university boffins has shown what our Facebook status updates say about who we truly are.
If you enjoy posting about how hot your boyfriend is, chances are you’ll have low self esteem. And if you like updating friends about your diet or tough exercise regime, you’re likely to be narcissist. In others words, a bit self-obsessed.
Psychologists from Brunel University London asked 555 Facebook users to look at their personality characteristics, and consider what topics they choose to write up in their status updates.
Their survey, based on the “Big Five” personality traits – extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness – along with self-esteem and narcissism, revealed some interesting results.
Narcissists – the selfish folk – more frequently wrote about their achievements, which was motivated by their need for attention from other Facebook users. These updates also received a greater number of likes and comments, suggesting that their boasting may be strengthened by the attention they crave.
On the flip side, people who showed conscientiousness wrote more updates about their kids.
Psychology lecturer Dr Tara Marshall, from the university, commented: “Although our results indicate that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays.
“Greater awareness of how someone’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”
So the next time you want to jump on your phone to tell the world how well you did in your maths exam, have a wee think about this might impact your friendships…