Indelible Pieces

Ramblings about entertainment, lifestyle and travel

What do your status updates say about you?


I don’t tend to post surveys, but when this one landed in my inbox, I had to give it a read – mostly to determine what kind of poster I am and well what kind of human that makes me. And now apart from holiday/event photos and my blog posts (naturally) I don’t post all that much.

According to psychologists at Brunel University London, people who post Facebook status updates about their romantic partner are more likely to have low self-esteem, while those who brag about diets, exercise, and accomplishments are typically narcissists.

The research also found that:

  • 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.
  • Narcissists also 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.
  • Conscientiousness was associated with writing more updates about one’s children.

The data was collected from 555 Facebook users who completed online surveys measuring the ‘Big Five’ personality traits – extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness – as well as self-esteem and narcissism.

Psychology lecturer Dr Tara Marshall, from Brunel University London, said: “It is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook because their updates may be differentially rewarded with ‘likes’ and comments. People who receive more likes and comments tend to experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who receive none feel ostracised.

Unfortunately the study doesn’t seem to have my ‘type’ in the results, so I suppose I’m somewhere in the middle of narcissistic (because I want you to like my pictures and read my posts) and low-self esteem (because I rarely share ‘accomplishments’).

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