What’s your go-to Facebook move? For some it’s sharing and reading news stories, others use it for professional connections and some send seemingly endless requests to play Candy Crush. All valid (okay, maybe not the Candy Crush one, if we’re being honest), but a new study out of the University of Akron says the way you use your Facebook account determines the level of dependency you have on the social network. But don’t worry — that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Amber Ferris, the assistant professor at the University who conducted the study, found that people use Facebook for a bunch of different reasons, from meeting new people to getting attention from others. She says those who use Facebook to “fulfill their goals” — which could be personal or professional — tend to become more dependent on the site.
But being dependent on Facebook to share successes and build connections with people isn’t always a flaw, she found. “Those who post the most and are the most positive in posts do so to stay connected with people they already know and to gain others’ attention,” Ferris says in a news release. “This makes a lot of sense — if you are happy with your life, you are more likely to want to share that happiness with others on social media.”
And while people who use Facebook to make new friends are the most dependent on the site of all those studied, they’re also the most extroverted and open with their friends. On the flip side, they might not always be completely honest in what they’re sharing. But who doesn’t embellish just a little on social media? We all just want to show the best version of our lives, after all.
Some use the social network to get a better understanding of their own personality or personal views. Think about the flood of lengthy political statuses any time Donald Trump makes yet another controversial statement. Ferris found that people who use the site for this reason “tend to have agreeable personalities but lower self-esteem than others.”
Next time you go to post a new status or photo, make a mental note of what you’re hoping comes out of it — you might get a little insight into your own personality!
Why do you use Facebook? Tell us by tweeting us @BritandCo!