Thursday, September 3, 2015

Who We are on Facebook

By Anton Antonio
September 4, 2015

Pro-environment advocates and activists using the EIC (Education, Information and Communication) Approach prefer to use social media as their main mode of communications to spread their advocacy.  The Facebook platform seems to be the most viable one since Facebook has a 96% penetration rate in the Philippines which is quite phenomenal compared to other countries.  The established penetration rate of Facebook is 32% (Antonio, 2015)… on a worldwide basis.  But more than the use of Facebook as an advocacy tool, Facebook users could also be characterized by the manner by which they conduct themselves in social media.  An understanding of the attitudes and tendencies of Facebook netizens will provide us with necessary insights to postulate more effective communications strategies.

Here is a researched material that is a very informative read…

By Amy Morin
October 31, 2014

Every day when Facebook asks, “What’s on your mind?” around 400 million people respond with a status message.  While some people take the opportunity to share about their latest meal, other people post photos or inspirational messages.  Over the past few years, researchers have discovered the way people choose to present themselves on Facebook speaks volumes about their personality and self-image.

Understanding your behavior on social media could give you insight into your own personality as well as how others perceive you.  Clearly, we may think we’re presenting ourselves in a certain light only to discover other people view our behavior completely different.

Recognizing what Facebook reveals about personality could serve many benefits in the business world.  A hiring manager could quickly gain insight into an interviewee’s personality by taking a quick look at that person’s Facebook profile.  Or a salesperson who understands whether his customer is likely agreeable or narcissistic could tailor his approach accordingly and gain a competitive edge in closing a deal.

Here are seven things our Facebook interactions reveal about us:
  1. PEOPLE WITH A LOT OF FACEBOOK FRIENDS TEND TO HAVE LOW SELF-ESTEEM.  A 2002 study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that people with low-self esteem who worried about their public perception had the most Facebook friends.  The researchers concluded that self-conscious people compensate for low self-esteem by trying to appear popular on Facebook.
  2.  ECTROVERTS UPLOAD PHOTOS AND UPDATE THEIR STATUS MORE OFTEN THAN INTROVERTS.  Just like in real life, extroverts socialize more on social media, according to a 2014 study titled “Personality Traits and Self-Presentation at Facebook.”  The study found that extroverts use the like button more often and update their status more frequently than introverts.
  3. CONSCIENTIOUS PEOPLE ORGANIZE THEIR PHOTOS CAREFULLY.  Conscientious people are self-disciplines hard-workers who spend the least amount of time on Facebook.  A 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior, reports that when conscientious people do use Facebook, they do so in a very organized manner.  For example, they may create neat folders to help share their photos with friends and family in a methodical and convenient way.
  4. OPEN PEOPLE ARE LIKELY TO FILL OUT THEIR PERSONAL PROFILE MOST THOROUGHLY.  A 2010 study called “Social Network Use and Personality,” discovered that open people – described as artistic, imaginative, and creative – use the most features on Facebook and are most likely to complete the personal information sections.  They also tend to post more “wall messages” when communicating with specific friends.
  5. NARCISSISTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO MAKE DEEPER SELF-DISCLOSURES THAT CONTAIN SELF-PROMOTIONAL CONTENT.  Narcissists – people with an inflated self-concept and a strong sense of uniqueness and superiority – seek attention and affirmations on Facebook.  A 2014 study found that narcissists made more frequent posts about themselves in an attempt to attract likes and comments that fuel their beliefs about self-importance.  Other studies have found that narcissistic people love to selfies and they share the ones where they think they look most attractive in hopes of gaining admiration.
  6. NEUROTIC PEOPLE POST MOSTLY PHOTOS.  A 2014 study titled “Capturing Personality from Facebook Photos and Photo-Related Activity” found that highly neurotic people – those most prone to stress and anxiety – seek acceptance by publishing photos.  Since neurotic people struggle with communication and social skills, researchers believe they use photos on Facebook as a means to express themselves.  Also, photos are less controversial than comments – which could lead to a lot of anxiety as they wait for other people’s responses.  Neurotic people tend to have the most photos per album.  Researchers believe this stems from their desire to present themselves positively.  They may use photos to try and appear happier and to show they are able to keep up with their friends.  Over time, however, the behavior of highly neurotic people tends to change.  They’re likely to seek acceptance and decrease feelings of loneliness.
  7. AGREEABLE PEOPLE ARE TAGGED IN OTHER PEOPLE’S PHOTOS MOST OFTEN.  A 2002 study titles “Personality and Patterns of Facebook Usage,” found that the higher a person ranks in personality scales for agreeableness, the more likely that person will be tagged in Facebook photos posted by other people.  Since agreeable people tend to behave warm and friendly and less competitive, it’s not surprising that their friends enjoy taking lighthearted pictures with them and sharing then on Facebook. 

Although we may think we’re masking our insecurities or portraying ourselves in the most favorable light, our behavior on social media reveals more than we might think.  It’s not just what we post on Facebook that reveals information about our personalities – it’s also what we don’t post than can be quite telling.  It’s likely that our personality profiles will continue to play a major role in how advertisers market to us and how companies will choose to hire in the future.  Facebook not only reveals how we see ourselves – our profiles also provide insight into how others perceive us.”

The 7-point discussion of Amy Morin will certainly provide us with important tips on how to profile our Facebook friends --- their likes and dislikes, attitudes and tendencies, etc.  It is critical to know these as a guide on how to conduct ourselves on Facebook (on a personal level) and how to strategically use Facebook as a communications media (on an advocacy level).  Also important is the perception we create of others and ourselves… who we are on Facebook.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Antonio, A. C., (2015). “Facebook Power”.  Retrieved on September 4, 2015 from, (2014). “What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality and Self Esteem”.  Retrieved on September 4, 2015 from

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