What Your Social Media Says About You – 17 Truths You May Be Unaware Of

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What social media posts reveal you

Love posting selfies on Instagram? Is it hard to spend a day without posting a new story or a short video? Despite what you may think, what you post online can reveal a lot about your personality and how your mind works. Here’s what your social media says about you.

“Content”-ifying life

what your social media says about you

Boy, that selfie sure does look great! Let me just quickly edit that a bit, add my fav filter, some stickers, the right caption, and voila! Now it’s Instagrammable. This one is surely going to get a lot of hearts and get me some new followers.

Have you ever felt like this after taking a selfie? Of course, you have. Who hasn’t? Unless you are an antisocial psychopath. Selfies tell a story, right? It shows what you are doing, how you are feeling, where you are and how you are living your best life. That’s great. But do you know what your Instagram says about you? How do others, including your loyal followers, perceive you based on what you post on social media?

I mean of course you look great, you stay fit, you are in fashion, you eat at the best restaurants, you are traveling around the world. That’s the image you have. That’s how they perceive you, right? Mmmmm… maybe not. Have you wondered what your social media says about you? Your social media account is a window to your mind, heart and soul. Regardless of how hard you may try to create a certain social image of yourself, people may see you very differently than you would imagine. 

Related: 8 Signs You Have An Unhealthy Attachment To Social Media

When you turn your entire life into “content” for your online audience, people will start judging you and most of it will not be how you plan it. Yes, of course you don’t care about what others think about you. But the bitter truth is, when you are posting on social media, you do care what people think about you. You want their “likes”, their “hearts”, their “comments”, their “shares”, their “retweets” and the list goes on. The point is, you and me both, care about what people on social media think about us and how they perceive us. 

This is why it is very important that you understand the psychology behind your Instagram use and what your social media posts say about you.

What your social media says about you

So what do your social media posts reveal about you? Let’s take a closer look at how other people perceive your social media behavior –

1. Selfies

social media posts reveal you selfie

Is your Instagram profile crowded with selfies? Do you have a different selfie pose for different moods, occasions or times of the day? Selfies can make you appear narcissistic and self-centered, especially when you post a selfie for everything you do every single day. It shows that you love yourself the most (and not in a good way), and that you seek external validation and approval to boost your self-esteem. But more on that later.

2. Filters 

social media posts reveal you filters

Is it difficult for you to post your selfies without adding filters on them? Does posting an unedited selfie sound like a nightmare to you? If you over “filter-ize” your images to the point where your actual face and your “edited” image are drastically different, then it shows that you are insecure about the way you look. That’s what your social media says about you when you use excessive filters.

3. Makeup

social media posts reveal you makeup

Okay, so you don’t like filters that much, but you need the perfect makeup to highlight those contours and curves every single time you take a selfie. This can also spell insecurity. If you are always trying to look your best by hiding your natural appearance, then it can make your friends and followers think you are too vain, superficial and fake.

Related: 8 Signs You Need To Stay Away From Social Media

4. Groupfie

social media posts reveal you group

Is your Instagram scattered with photos of you hanging out with your squad? Is “#SquadGoals” your most used hashtag? Posting a ton of photos with your friends or your clique shows that you are an extrovert who loves to socialize, spend time with their friends, and is very outgoing. However, if your social media profile is dominated by groupfies, then it means you are silently struggling with loneliness, do not love yourself enough, and are unable to enjoy solitude. It may also mean that you love showing others how popular and happening your life is.

5. Gym selfies

social media posts reveal you gym

Gym bros, do you know what your social media says about you? While fitness enthusiasts may love posting shirtless selfies showing off their abs, frequently posting gym selfies might present you in narcissistic colors. It shows that you may lack something in your life and try to overcompensate that with your fitness and physique. You use your physical appearance to fill the emotional and spiritual void that you feel inside.

6. Hot & sexy photos

social media posts reveal you skin

Does striking those sexy poses make your selfies look too hot to even look at? Well, that just screams you are desperate for others’ attention. Whether you are a woman or guy, if you keep posting half-nude selfies or love to expose some of your perfectly tanned skin for your followers, then it comes off as attention seeking behavior. 

7. Family album

social media posts reveal you children

Are most of your posts about family? Do you constantly keep posting about your children? While sharing everything cute your child does on social media is natural for any parent, it may show that you don’t really have much of a life beyond your family. However, this also means that you prioritize your family and it is something you should be proud of. Just try to balance it with some other fun stuff at times as well.

Related: 3 Ways To Protect Children From The Dark Side Of Social Media

8. Debatable opinions 

social media posts reveal you personal opinion

Is your Facebook and Twitter filled with social commentary and personal opinions about the latest issues? Then it may show your followers that you are socially aware, keep yourself updated with the latest news, have strong, well-informed opinions, and always up for a constructive debate. This is what your social media says about you.

9. Words & comments 

social media posts reveal you tone of comments

Are you a positive person or are you toxic? How you phrase your words on social media can help others understand your person by the way you treat your friends, followers or even strangers on social media. If you prefer sharing your opinions on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn without any filter, then strangers can get a glimpse at your mindset, values, and beliefs. What and how you comment in others’ posts and the tone of your words can tell people what exactly triggers you or makes you happy. 

10. Relationship posts

social media posts reveal you relationship

Do you keep posting those cute photos of you and your beau all the time? If you are constantly dumping your relationship photos on Instagram or Facebook, then what your social media says about you is that you struggle to have a healthy relationship. It shows others that you are insecure in your romantic relationship, have low self-esteem or may even have a toxic relationship. Relationship posts, whether photos, relationship status or cute romantic quotes, reveal that you are not feeling loved enough in your relationship or do not get adequate attention from your partner. This is why you feel a strong need to show others that you and your partner are happy together.

Related: 5 Ways Social Media Can Kill A Relationship Before It Even Begins

11. Pets & animals

social media posts reveal you pets

It is obvious that if you have a pet or if you are an animal lover, you will be posting a lot of photos of your pets and other animals. This shows your friends and followers that you are loving, caring, empathic, and compassionate. You understand what unconditional love is and know how to give and receive it. You are also playful, love nature and find happiness in the company of animals.

12. Food

social media posts reveal you food

Trying to build your profile as a voracious foodie? Do you flood social media with photos of foods and beverages? Foodstagramming or the art of posting pictures of your food on social media is a hot trend right now and can get you numerous followers when done aesthetically. But it shows that you are constantly craving more food and that is what you think of most of the time. What your social media says about you is that you struggle with unhealthy eating habits, weight gain or underlying eating disorders.

13. Motivational quotes

social media posts reveal you motivational quotes

Deep, meaningful quotes are very popular on social media and someone who posts them frequently tends to have good intentions. It shows that you may be struggling with life challenges but trying your best to overcome all obstacles and finding the strength to become a better person.

14. Memes

social media posts reveal you meme

Are you on social media simply because of memes? People whose main social media game is memes and GIFs are seen as light-hearted and fun loving individuals. It shows that you have a good sense of humor and don’t take things too seriously. People who share and like memes on social media love to laugh and be entertained. On the other hand, it can also mean that you are very unhappy and try to hide your real emotions behind memes and laughs by using humor as a defense mechanism.

Related: 40+ Funny Memes That Captures The True Essence Of Friendship

15. Life Unfiltered

social media posts reveal you Unfiltered images

Do you share your life as it is on social media? Is your Instagram profile flooded with pictures of the little things you enjoy in life and the happy accidents that teach you a lot? Then what your social media says about you is that you keep things real. People who post awkward photos, unfiltered, unedited selfies, along with perfectly curated photos looking their best are seen as real. When you balance both the good and the bad, you appear as a real person, not as a fake poser.

16. Constantly posting something

social media posts reveal you Always posting something

Are you always on your phone? Do you keep scrolling and posting something or the other non-stop on your social media? Excessive engagement with Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can reveal that you don’t really have too much going on in your life. Being on social media all the time shows that you either avoid your responsibilities, avoid your family, work or don’t really have anything better to do in life. It may also indicate that people who post everything on Facebook or Instagram are struggling with depression

17. Not posting anything at all

social media posts reveal you not posting

Would you rather check social media for what others are up to than share what you are doing? If you are someone who barely posts anything themselves, but always ‘like’, comment or share what others have posted on their profile, then what your social media says about you is that you love drama. You need to track what everyone is doing so that you have something to gossip about. However, you are very careful about what you post so that others don’t talk about you the same way you do about them.

Social media psychology

Now that you have some idea about what your social-media use says about you, let us delve into the psychology of why we share on social media and what it says about our personality. 

New research suggests that your social media posts and observable profile information can reveal a lot about your behavior and the Big Five personality traits. For instance people who use and engage with social media apps like Instagram and Facebook way too frequently tend to be more extroverted than introverted. “As in offline contexts, extraverts seek out virtual social engagement, which leaves behind a behavioral residue in the form of friends lists and picture postings,” explain the researchers.” For extroverts, social media use is an extension of the offline personality. 

Related: Negative Effects Of Instagram On Mental Health: 7 Ways Instagram Ruins Lives

According to a 2020 study, extroverts are prone to posting more positive content on social media constantly, while people who post negative content continuously tend to have agreeableness as a personality trait.We also observe that participants with stronger depression symptoms posted more non-original content,” states the study.

But what does your social media profile say about you? One 2018 study found the answer to “what your social media says about you.” It shows that the frequency and content of your social media posts reveal a lot about the following –

  • Personality traits like extroversion or introversion
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-image
  • Narcissism
  • Mental & emotional state 
  • Resilience
  • Social support 
  • Life satisfaction

Studies also show that our attachment style can also be a crucial factor in influencing and guiding our social media use and online connections, especially problematic Facebook use  (PFU). However, multiple studies show that constant use of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and the likes, can be a sign of –

While some experts believe that using social media can increase feelings of belonging and connection, it can have a strong negative impact on our mental health. As our mental and emotional health regulates our thoughts, behaviors and emotions, it controls how we behave online. 

Related: 18 Reasons Why Social Media Makes Us Hate Ourselves

So that’s what your social media says about you, according to science. But there is a lot more for us to uncover about what your Instagram and Facebook posts reveal about your personality. 

Let’s dig in. 

What your social media says about your personality

Social media acts like a journal for most of us where we share our thoughts, emotions and mood through tons and tons of photos. A quick scroll through your Instagram or Facebook profile can reveal a lot about your psychology and personality. Your selfies may often be a window to your subconscious mind. 

Want to know what your social media says about you? Here’s what posting about your life on social media can reveal about what’s on your mind and in your heart based on the Big Five Personality Model – 

1. You are an extrovert if you upload selfies too often

Although this one is a no brainer, extroverts are more active on social media than introverts. Extroverted individuals typically update their status more frequently and post more photos than introverts on popular social media apps. Studies have found that extraversion is positively associated with self-presentation on Facebook. Apart from posting status more often, extroverts have more online friends than introverts. “Besides, extraverts clicked Like, wrote Comment and clicked Share at News Feed more frequently than introverts,” add the researchers. However, posting too frequently can also be a hint that you’re a jealous narcissist.

2. You may be a narcissist if your posts are self-promotional 

Don’t you just love posting those selfies and waiting for the “Likes” to pile up? Well, posting selfies may not necessarily mean that you are a narcissist, but it has been observed that narcissists do take and post a lot of selfies. Moreover, they share only those photos where they look their best to get more attention and “followers”. Due to their inflated self-image, sense of superiority and their strong need to affirm their beliefs about self-importance, narcissists are prone to posting content that promote their perceived self-image.

Related: Narcissists and Psychopaths Online: 3 Ways To Handle Cyberbullying and Trolls

One 2020 study revealed that social media provides the “ideal environment” for narcissists to pursue and achieve their narcissistic goals as it allows them to control self-presentation. Due to their need for ideal online self-presentation, narcissists are frequently involved in selfie-taking and selfie-editing behavior and increased social media use.Narcissists particularly tend to be ‘active’ SNS users (i.e., content-creators, more engaged in posts and like/comment production, photo posting, and uploading),” adds the study.

Further research shows that narcissistic traits are linked to “the number of friends a person has and how many photos they upload.Narcissists, especially grandiose narcissists, spend more time on social media apps than normal users and they also show certain behavioral patterns.

Do your social media posts reveal that you are a narcissistic person?

3. You are open to new experiences if your profile is filled out

Psychotherapist and author Amy Morin believes that people who thoroughly fill out their personal profiles on Facebook or Instagram tend to be high in openness. Individuals who are high in the trait of openness tend to be open-minded, are willing to accept & pursue new experiences, seek novelty and tend to be curious, imaginative & creative. Research shows that open people embrace new things and are often curious about different features on social media platforms. Due to their creative and imaginative personalities, they tend to complete the entire personal information section on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

According to a 2020 study, openness to experience is associated with “a greater tendency to be sociable through Facebook.” However, further studies show that openness is significantly negatively correlated to pathological internet and social media use. When you are open-minded, this is what your social media says about you.

4. You are friendly if you keep getting “tagged” on other’s posts

So your friends constantly keep tagging you in their photos and you think it’s cool? Then it may show that you put the needs of others before your own. It also reveals that you are high in the personality trait of agreeableness. Agreeable people believe that maintaining positive social relations are important and typically tend to be cooperative. They are friendly & compassionate, trust others easily and tend to adapt to the needs of others. 

Research shows that about the top 10% of Facebook profiles that are tagged in the social media platform are remarkably higher in Agreeableness than the bottom 10%. This is a clear indication that Agreeableness is positively correlated with the number of Facebook tags. The researchers also found that Agreeableness was related to the number of friends, Facebook groups and “likes”. For instance, if you are agreeable, you are less likely to hit “like” on posts that are controversial or that may contradict the beliefs or values of your friends. Agreeableness also leads to political compromise on social media.

Related: 5 Social Media Habits That Are Toxic To Any Relationship

But, wait. There is more to know about what your social media says about you. According to a 2018 study, agreeableness is “related to addictive use of Instagram both directly and indirectly.” It found that agreeable people are more prone to –

  • Posting group selfies
  • Involvement in others’ responses
  • Observing others’ posts and selfies
  • Commenting or clicking “likes” on others’ posts 

So if your social media use is dominated by these behavioral patterns, then it means that you are a soft-hearted and well-mannered individual.

5. You are neurotic if you post a ton of selfies

In the habit of uploading a new photo or “throwback” photos almost everyday on Facebook or Instagram? Then you just might be high on neuroticism. It is a personality trait that makes you prone to experiencing negative emotions such as –

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional instability
  • Self‐consciousness
  • Irritability
  • Anger

Studies show that neurotic people post a lot of images on social media, especially ones that are monochromatic or black and white, as a way of seeking validation, admiration and acceptance. Neuroticism is related to “extensive photo uploads and voluminous photo albums,” explain the researchers. It is believed that neurotic individuals prefer to communicate more through images on social media as statements or comments can be more controversial and anxiety-inducing than images. They use selfies and images to create a positive social reputation and show themselves as happy as others. However, social media behavior of neurotic people is mostly an imitation of others, believes Amy Morin.

In fact, studies show that neuroticism can be a risk factor in the development of social network use disorder. One 2020 study states that “Individuals with high neuroticism tend to use social media more frequently” as they “locate their ‘real me’ on the Internet,” unlike extroverts. Research also shows that women with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to be addicted to social media, which had a negative effect on their well-being. This is what your social media says about you, if you are a neurotic person.

Related: How Influencers Use The Psychology of Covert Content

6. If your instagram feed is well curated then you are careful

Are your photos on Instagram or Facebook properly organized and curated? Then it is likely you have high levels of conscientiousness. People who possess this personality trait are efficient, diligent, goal-directed, careful and have a strong desire to do a task properly. If you are a conscientious individual, then it is likely that you do not spend excessive time on social media platforms. However, your social media use is well planned and organized, resulting in curated content and posts, explains a study.

Research also shows that conscientious individuals value rules that support their decision-making process more than peer pressure, what others think and even friendships. It explains “conscientiousness was negatively associated with social media use.” So if you barely scroll through social media and if your Facebook albums are neatly categorized and structured, then it shows that you are high on conscientiousness.

You are what you post

So now you know what your social media says about you. Posting your life on social media may or may not necessarily be a good idea. But the reality is we all live on social media these days. We post every moment of our lives online for others, including strangers, to see, observe, analyze and judge. This is why we need to realize that how we engage and interact with others on different social media platforms can reveal a lot about our mindset, mood, personality, lifestyle, relationships and emotional state.

No matter what we post on social media or even when we choose not to post anything – everything tells a story about our life. While it is not necessarily bad to post whatever you feel like sharing with the world, being more aware and conscious of your social media behavior can help you create a better social reputation and protect your privacy.

However, if you feel that your social media use is revealing certain unfavorable personality traits that you may possess, consulting a mental health professional or a therapist may be beneficial. 

Related: How To Find Happiness With JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out


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