Because social media businesses can have hundreds of millions of users, they are often used as a way to predict, understand or criticize the general population. The largest of these is Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). It is used to look at and divine everything from car purchase intent, to stock market activity, to grocery buying. Lately, the reading of behavior on the huge social network as extended to narcissism and poor self-esteem.
The most recent wild research from Brunel University as posted on Science Daily:
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, according to new research.
Psychologists at Brunel University London surveyed Facebook users to examine the personality traits and motives that influence the topics they choose to write about in their status updates — something that few previous studies have explored.
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.
People with low self-esteem more frequently posted status updates about their current romantic partner.
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 lesson. Don’t talk about romance on Facebook, and leave the impression that your self-esteem is just fine.