For better or worse, Facebook is taking over the way we interact, the way we view ourselves and the way we interpret the world. In 2005, five percent of American adults used social media. Today, 69 percent of Americans use at least one social media platform.
Does Facebook Help or Hurt?
Psychologists have studied how Facebook use affects brain and behavior extensively in recent years.
While actively interacting on the social platform by commenting and liking can directly boost feelings of bonding, simply scrolling through your news feed without interaction can lead to a significant increase in feelings of loneliness.
While viewing pictures of loved ones on Facebook can reduce stress, excessive Facebook use has also been linked to a decrease in intimacy in relationships. The jury’s still out on whether Facebook offers more positive benefits than negative drawbacks.
The Four Personality Types
It’s hard to say whether anyone’s digital persona is their “true self,” but how you use Facebook could provide insight about your personality type.
There are four main “families” of personalities, and each of these personalities likely uses Facebook in different ways.
1. Dominant: What defines the dominant? It’s all about the bottom line. The dominant personality type is blunt, forceful, takes challenges head on and always gets straight to the point.
2. Influencer: The influencer loves to connect. They’re enthusiastic, persuasive, sociable and well-liked, if a bit image-conscious.
3. Submissive: The steady, stable, submissive personality type is calm and supportive. They are helpful, predictable and they do not show emotion. What you see is what you get, but what you get is not what you see.
4. Compliant: The compliant personality is a cautious perfectionist. They are thinkers. They are data-driven.
How do these personality types translate to Facebook behavior?
You Might Be “Dominant” If…
- You post articles (that are perhaps controversial) that state exactly how you feel.
- Someone wants to argue about your stance? You can easily trade comment for comment, sharing your unvarnished opinion…until you get bored that is.
- You don’t use Facebook very much because you’re too busy doing something more important.
You Might Be an “Influencer” If…
- Your profile picture is you and 10 friends.
- You “check-in” to locations when you’re out with your crew and post plenty of pictures when you’re having a good time.
- You have 1,000+ Facebook friends, but you barely know the majority.
You Might Be “Submissive” If…
- You write friendly, supportive comments on all of your friend’s statuses.
- You have 150 friends and you know them all personally.
- You don’t share inner thoughts and feelings – if something is troubling you it never makes its way online.
You Might Be “Compliant” If…
- You share interesting studies that made you think.
- Because you read an article on government surveillance, you may not have “Facebook Messenger” installed on your phone and you might be freaked out by Facebook’s targeted advertisements.
- You’re in a rush to share the latest news, or something your friends haven’t heard before – you want to get “the scoop.”
You Are Unique
When studying personality, the brain and human behavior, one of the most important principles to understand is that every individual is just that: an individual. There are countless variations to each personality type, and you might not fit an exact mold.
Uncover Your Authentic Self
Learning about your personality type helps you understand your true self, what motivates you and what drives you. Plus, it improves your relationships with your significant other, your co-workers and your friends. Check out my book “The Four People Types” for more insight into personality and behavior on your journey to self-discovery.