What Facebook activity reveals about self-esteem

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

When you log onto Facebook, do you like to update your status, or do you find yourself deleting old posts? According to a study from Penn State, the answer may hint at your levels of self-esteem!

Penn State researchers monitored the Facebook habits of 225 university students in South Korea, tracking how often they updated their statuses, added or deleted pictures, and what personal information they edited on their profile page. Students were also asked to complete a survey that inquired about their self-worth and social comfort. The researchers discovered that individuals with low self-esteem spent a lot of time hiding and deleting information from their pages! According to S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications at Penn State, “The more you get connected to Facebook, the stronger you feel that the items you post – the pictures, for example – are part of your identity and the more likely you are going to view these as your virtual possessions.”

Meanwhile, students with high levels of self-esteem added more information, such as family relationships, work statuses, and pictures! “The types of actions users take and the kinds of information they are adding to their Facebook walls and profiles are a [reflection] of their identities,” said Sundar. “You are your Facebook, basically, and despite all its socialness, Facebook is a deeply personal medium.”

Featured image courtesy of  SimonQ錫濛譙 on Flickr.