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Low Self-Esteem Linked With People Bragging About Romantic Relationships On Facebook

Your Facebook status updates might be saying more about you than you would have thought. A new study has suggested that what you post as status on the social online network speaks a lot about your own personality. For instance, psychologists explain that those with low self-esteem tend to frequently post about their romantic relationships, while narcissists boast about their achievements. The findings are published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.


The study marks the first time that the causes motivating people to write on social media were explored. Furthermore, the researchers investigated the effects of the response the posts get.

“It might come as little surprise that Facebook status updates reflect people’s personality traits,” lead researcher Tara Marshall, a psychologist from Brunel University London in the UK, said in a media release. “However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook because their updates may be differentially rewarded with ‘likes’ and comments. People who receive more likes and comments tend to experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who receive none feel ostracised.”

The researchers requested 555 Facebook users to take online surveys. 5 personality traits were assessed, namely, extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and their self-esteems levels and propensity to narcissism were also evaluated.


The participants were also asked additional information like how often they post status updates, and why do they share events of their lives online.

The researchers monitored the number of likes and comments obtained.

The results revealed that:-

  • People with low self-esteem were more likely to talk of their romantic partner.
  • Extraverts use Facebook as a means to interact and share their social activities with others.
  • Conscientious people would mostly speak of their children.
  • Narcissists mention their achievements, diet, gym sessions, motivated by the need for validation. They also received the most likes and comments that encourage them to brag more.

“Although our results suggest that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays,” said Marshall. “Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”


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