What your Facebook status says about your personality

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Friday 07 August 2015 19:00
Science and Tech

We all know the 'hide post' and 'unfollow' buttons on Facebook come in handy sometimes.

They're reserved for those friends: the one who posts their pseudo-intellectual musings on the topic of the day, or the obsessive compulsive selfie-taker, or that person who uses cryptic Facebook statuses to get attention.

Now a new study published in Personality and Individual Differences has found that while the odd post doesn't reveal much about your inner workings, looking at patterns in status updates over time shows a lot about the traits and motives that influence what people want to communicate to their social network.

For the study, statuses from 555 people were evaluated for openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, self-esteem and narcissism compared to their offline personality types.

The researchers found that extroverts really do post more frequently, and when they do it's usually about their social lives and every day activities.

People who ranked as very open to experience were more likely to post about politics and news, and share links in their quest for more knowledge. Conscientious people posted the most updates about their children, and those with low-self esteem posted most about their significant others.

And it's probably no surprise that narcissists used Facebook to attention seek by posting about the littlest of diet and exercise achievements.

The worst part? They get validation from all the likes and comments, which means they're more likely to keep doing it. You have been warned.

More: Your Facebook status reveals more about your mental health than you might realise