Your Facebook Persona
Much is written about “privacy” and Facebook. I wonder if those of us who use and peruse this marketplace of social, political and commercial exchange have noticed how each of us over time is displaying a distinct personality?
After watching my friends’ posts for a year it is easy to predict what kind of a status line they are likely to add. It’s even easy to predict how often a given friend will weigh in on something or offer an idea. Most of us have become wildly predictable on Facebook and seem to develop a consistency that is slightly alarming. It’s easy to tell who is seriously addicted and needs to post round the clock. Others show up intermittently. You know who you are.
Whether or not our “real” personality is like the reflection of our posts it is clear that each of us is in danger of having a FB Personality. Here are some of the archetypes I have observed: (perhaps some of your friends fall into these profiles, eh?)
1. The Complainer. This person only chooses to post when they have something negative to say. “I hate Mondays” “My boss is such a jerk.” “Why are doctors such poor listeners?” “I got a ticket while texting today. Boo hiss for patrol cops!” “Feeling stupid this morning.” The Complainer is an equal opportunity complainer- saying negative things about both self and others.
2. The Politico. This person only posts links and clips of articles about their political point of view. Count on a YouTube link to some political rhetoric or a NYT editorial. This type is often trying to raise money for something. Beware Paypal links to “worthy causes.”
3. The Major Family Announcement Messenger. This person only posts when they have something BIG to announce: a death in the family, an engagement or wedding, or an x-ray of a broken fibula. “I got fired this week.” “The dog got run over.” Would also quality.
4. The Jokester pointer. This person is privy to every weird or comic YouTube. Count on getting a link to a video of kittens pooping on Grandpa’s lap while he is sleeping.
5. The Literati. This person is fond of showing off his wide intellectual range by posting links to poetry, art and criticism. Clips of classical music abound. Look for a Yo Yo Ma video.
6. The Jetsetter. Count on this guy to use the location/Place entry liberally. “Here I am at the Taj Mahal.” “This is me at the Sands in Vegas.” “Climbing Kilimanjaro this week.” “Just checked in at the Paris Hilton.” “Eating crab off a boat in Patagonia.” All of these are accompanied by IPhone photos.
7. The Spiritual Guide. This friend seems to be connected to complete information about some (or many?) spiritual path(s). Count on links and photos of gurus, temple bake sales, books on The Way. Often there is simply a quotation to uplift you spiritually.
8. The Self Promoter. This friend only seems to post links to the thing that they are selling: “Click here to buy my book.” “Only thirteen spots left in my Seminar!” “ Three ways to contact my Agent.” “Did you know that I’m selling my pottery at a 10% discount this month?” “Come see my show tonight. It’s awesome.”
9. The Artist. This writer likes to post photos of current art work or photography. The hope is that they can garner praise by getting a bunch of “likes” and thereby validate themselves as artists.
10. The PartyHound. This writer only posts when they have a bunch of photos of themselves wasted and hanging on the necks of other drunken friends. This type is sometimes a subset of the Jetsetter.
11.The SmileyFace. This friend only says NICE things. It’s common to use their status posts to thank people or wax poetical about how great life is and how lucky they are. (Definitely the polar opposite of the Complainer.)
12.The Enigmatic. This writer seems to write in code. Posts are cryptic and usually indecipherable: “Gve RQP some tips. Need more windows.” “Took 6 h to finish. Phew . . .Did you?” “Why does K go in circles?”
(What is she talking about?)
Oh, and a few of my friends are combos of these profiles. I guess each of us gets to use FB for his own purpose. Different strokes for different folks, they say. I am sure I have missed a few. Would love to have you add some I've missed.