Article first published as What Your Facebook Profile Says About Your Personality on Technorati.
Six years ago, I was a freshman in college. Facebook had just launched, and at the time was a closed network restricted to an approved list of universities. Not wanting to be left out, I quickly began a small campaign persuading my classmates to e-mail the powers that be in Palo Alto demanding our university be included within the network. We’d be damned if we were left out of the coolest thing since beer pong. Within a month, we succeeded. Every encounter from then on with a new friend, or new crush ended with “Are you on Facebook?” And, the inevitable poke wars began. Oh, the simpler times.
Having just celebrated its sixth birthday, Facebook’s evolution is unmistakable. With over 500 million users, it reigns as the social network champion. Even if you’ve never joined the site, or now count yourself among the roughly 37,000 who have left the site in protest over privacy concerns, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Facebook.
And it has a lot of versatility and uses among its users. Everyone uses the site differently and to varying degrees. Some are extremely active, others less so. The way users utilize the social network can reveal a lot about them. Having spent the last six years on Facebook, my relationship with it has changed and evolved as well. I recently began classifying people into various personality groups based on how they participate on the site. See if you can identify your Facebook personality or who in your circle falls in these categories.
The Voyeur: The Voyeur likely has over 600+ friends, but yet their wall hasn’t been updated in months. Their profile shows minimal signs of life, and you can’t remember the last time you saw their name pop up in your news feed. They seem harmless, but beware they are watching your every move and taking notes.
The Stalker: Not to be missed, the Stalker is known for commenting on your Facebook status often within minutes of having posted it. You post a status update about your evening plans, and before you complete your breathe, that little red notification notifies you that he has commented on your status “a few seconds ago” asking if he can join the party. Think it’s just a coincidence? Sure, keep telling yourself that.
The Complainer: These folks hate their lives and use Facebook to make sure everyone knows it. “OMG. This headache won’t go away, and I still have four more hours at work. Lame. =(.” Listen, we all have bad days at work and work is an equal opportunity pain in the rear. Seriously, it’s called social networking, not social complaining. If it’s that bad that you resort to posting daily complaints, either quit your job, or get a therapist. Maybe both.
The Partier: The Partiers are usually the ones who have several pages of Facebook albums with obscure titles that only make sense to them. Many of the photos within these albums could prevent them from holding any position of higher office, get them fired from their job, or at the very least be extremely embarrassing if viewed by someone outside of that user’s friends’ list. The Partier is also the most frequent poster of status update countdowns. “VEGAS in FOUR DAYS! So PUMPED!
The Gamer: Perhaps the worst offender on this list, the Gamer clogs your newsfeed with requests to help with their Farmville quests or join their Online Mafia, or helping them feed their online aquarium. Newsflash: we don’t care. When these updates are the only thing that I see in my newsfeed, it’s likely a sign that our friendship is about to end.
The Vague-Booker: A term that has come to describe Facebook users who intentionally post vague status updates with the hope of eliciting a response. The term gained popularity in 2009 after finding its way into Urban Dictionary. I usually invoke a three strikes law here before defriending.
The Quote Guy: The Quote Guy uses his status update as an opportunity to broadcast his favorite quote of the moment and awaiting a response from his circle of friends. Usually something along the lines of “Haha. I love that movie/song.” The Quote Guy may also post quotes from famous authors and books in an attempt to prove his intellectual I.Q. My suggestion is to fight fire with fire, Google the quote, and reply back with something witty.
The Married Couple: These two tied the knot months ago and now take every opportunity to broadcast their married lives to their network. I really have nothing to say here. If you’re married and are going back and forth on your significant other’s wall with “I love you” posts, something is wrong.
What if you’ve read through this list and are thinking to yourself, “I don’t fit any of these descriptions?” Congratulations. You are most likely using Facebook with an eye on your etiquette, and with the aim of connecting with friends, sharing interesting information, without doing damage to your online reputation. If only those we’ve identified above would take the hint.
Did I leave any key personalities off this list? What are some of the personalities you have come across that deserves to be called out for their behavior? I’d love to hear them.