By Joanna McClanahan of Ramblin’ Mama
A study from Brunel University London surveyed Facebook users to examine the personality traits behind certain status updates. They did this by measuring 555 subjects’ self-esteem, narcissism, and their ‘Big Five’ personality traits: extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
So what do your social media posts say about you? The study found that:
– Narcissists wrote more status updates about their diet and exercise routine, suggesting that they use Facebook to broadcast the effort they put into their physical appearance.
– Narcissists more frequently updated about their achievements, which was motivated by their need for attention and validation from the Facebook community. These updates also received a greater number of ‘likes’ and comments, indicating that narcissists’ boasting may be reinforced by the attention they crave.
– People with low self-esteem more frequently posted status updates about their current romantic partner.
– Conscientiousness was associated with writing more updates about one’s children.
Basically, the more someone posts about their workout routine, the more likely that person is to be obsessed with themselves. WOW, THAT IS SHOCKING.
Did you hear that, Brenda? Can you please stop checking in at the gym on Facebook now? And that goes double for the people who post pictures of their sadness smoothies. Enough already. Nobody cares.
And to the people ‘liking’ their statuses, you’re part of the problem. Stop encouraging them.
“It is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook because their updates may be differentially rewarded with ‘likes’ and comments,” said Dr. Tara Marshall, from Brunel University. “Although our results suggest 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.”
We are accidentally inflating the egos of narcissists everywhere by validating this nonsense.
So, next time you see someone post their Fitbit stats or a sweaty selfie, instead of ‘liking’ their post, just passive-aggressively drop the link to this article instead.