Over the past year, I studied what people were posting on Facebook and how often they were posting. What I found was quite revealing.
There are four types of Facebook personalities. You may know some of them already but what you may not know is what’s hidden underneath the surface.
Communicating in person is quite different than communicating via an electronic medium. For example, would you go to the front of a room filled with strangers and tell them that you just ate or better yet show them a picture of it? The answer is NO because that’s awkward.
Yet on Facebook it’s quite common to see people post what they are eating. As a foodie, I’ve been guilty of doing it myself but mainly when it’s something that I’ve never seen before like a bartender making a cocktail with smoke. Either way, we post things on social networking sites that we wouldn’t otherwise disclose in front of a crowd.
So what does the content you share and the frequency you post say about you?
For starters, we all fall into one out of four Facebook Personalities Types (FPT), which are:
Please note: In the context of Facebook Personality Types, “Post” refers to an individual physically making a status update, uploading a picture, or checking-in at an establishment. It does not mean an individual commenting on someone’s post, liking someone else’s post, or sharing links/articles.
1. Voyeurs – Rarely post
Voyeurs know everything that’s going on within their Facebook network. You will know if you have a voyeur amongst your Facebook friends when he or she is asking you about activities that you posted and you know this person never commented or liked it. Another clear indicator is when someone jokingly says to you “I’ve been secretly Facebook stalking you.”
Voyeurs like to be in control and selectively post what they would like their network to see. This type of personality gets a kick out of “secretly” knowing what others are up to, and sometimes may use this information against you.
For example, I had a situation where I was a last minute invite to an event. I decided to post a picture and simultaneously check-in. Minutes later I get a text from a friend asking why they were excluded. Rather than going into an explanation, I left it for an in person conversation and learned my lesson - don’t tag anyone because it may make someone feel left out.
Please note: This does not apply to individuals that never use Facebook but rather individuals who check Facebook frequently to see what others are doing.
2. Informers – Post up to 3 times a Day
Informers are individuals that use Facebook as a way to communicate back home with friends and family or simply want to share what they are up to with their Facebook network. Their goal is merely to share information with others as a way of staying connected.
Like voyeurs, informers will tend to monitor their Facebook network to see what is going on and would either comment or like certain posts. Informers tend to play games on Facebook or chat with their friends via messenger. This personality type tends to be engaged and use Facebook as an online community.
3. Me Mees – Posts frequency varies
Have you ever had a friend that always managed to change the conversation to focus onto him or her or in a group setting, had to be the center of attention? If so, that’s what I call a Me Mee (pronounced Mimi) because It’s ALL About Me.
This personality type tends to be narcissists who mainly post pictures, articles, quotes, etc. that mainly have to do with him or her. These individuals rarely “comment” or “like” other posts unless it’s a way to self promote. Unlike Voyeurs and Informers who care to find out what’s going on within their Facebook network, Me Mees can’t be bothered.
4. Evangelists – Post 4 times or more a DAY
Evangelists have a lot of time on their hands and typically over post content like motivational quotes, check-ins, or pictures of what they are eating or drinking throughout the day.
While the Evangelist’s intention is to be inclusive or in some cases inspirational, it has the opposite effect – alienation. This type of personality uses over posting as a way to mask whatever is going on in their life. We all have an Evangelist amongst our Facebook network and if I’m not mistaken, you probably have filtered them out of your status feed.
Based on these four personality types, which one are you? Better yet, are you able to quickly place folks into these categories? Irrespective as to where you fit, a wise friend of mine said to me a long time ago – “If you don’t want people to know, don’t post it”
Bernardo Tirado, PMP @thePMObox
Bernardo covers leadership and technology for PsychologyToday.com. In addition to being an industrial psychologist, he’s certified as a Six Sigma Blackbelt, Project Management Professional, Body Language Expert, and is a Certified Trainer in Analytical Interviewing.