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The Effect of Personality Types on Facebook and Social Media Use

TheEffect of Personality Types on Facebook and Social Media Use

TheEffect of Personality Types on Facebook and Social Media Use

Theinternet has made it possible for people to interact, gatherinformation, and communicate through social media platforms such asFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Facebook, however, has a hugefollowing than other social media sites because it is simple to useand allows users to share larger content with people. The personalitytype of a social media site user affects the way they use theplatform (Harbaugh,2010). Extroversion and introversion as personality types have beenfound by researchers to be significant determinants of onlinebehavior on social media especially concerning self-disclosure.Self-disclosure could be manifested through posting many picturesabout oneself or posting private content that could not be typicallyshared offline. People differ in their social and psychologicalcircumstances, which affects the manner in which they use differenttypes of media to fulfill their individual needs. Personalityfeatures such as extroversion and introversion, therefore, interactto shape the behavior of an individual on Facebook and other socialmedia platforms.

Extroversionand introversion personality types

Beforedelving into the effect of extroversion and introversion on socialmedia use, it is vital to explain what they mean. Carl Jung’stheory examined individual differences in terms of orientation andcame up with two fundamentally different orientations. Jung foundthat extroverted people are those who are primarily oriented to theworld outside themselves while introverted people are those orientedto the world inside them. The extroverted-introverted difference,therefore, determines where an individual is likely to focus andrecharge their energy. Social media serves as a medium through whichindividuals with differing personality types exhibit theirorientations. The extent to which the social media user is anintrovert or an extrovert determines who much they engage in onlinebehavior that is self-exposing in order to fulfill their social andpsychological needs.

Self-exposurethrough posting pictures and other content

Extroversionhas the greatest effect on how a person chooses to use social media.Extroversion has much to do with the way an individual is able toengage with the environment they are exposed to. Extroverts arelikely to seek and prefer sociability with other people, a strongsocial contact with peers, and companionship. Social media users witha high extroversion trait are therefore likely to exhibit aspects oftraits such as assertiveness, outgoing, carefree, active, andaccepting of the environment around them (Schmit,2012). Extroverts also engage in risk-taking behavior and maysometimes make impulsive decisions. Introverts, on the other hand,exhibit traits such as shyness and introspection. They are also lesslikely to seek any external source of stimulation. Thus, it isexpected that an introvert will take some time to reflect beforetaking an action. In line with their behavioral disposition,extroverts have an active social media interaction than introverts.They post more pictures of themselves and share many personal lifeexperiences than introverts. It is also worth to note that mostextroverts use social media to supplement relationships they hadestablished offline.

Whilethe social media use of extroverted individuals could betheoretically consistent with personality predisposition, introvertsmay also be heavy users of social media but for a different purpose.They consider it an alternative to face-to-face interactions.Facebook and other social media sites give an introvert theopportunity to carefully choose friends so that they can regulatetheir social circle. In such a case, they decide to post pictures orshare personal information only to those they consider fit that kindof content. The messaging and inbox alternatives available on socialmedia enable introverts to interact with only a small clique ofpeople they approve.

Theconsequences various forms of social media behavior of introverts andextroverts

Facebookand other social media may end up creating a successful socialinteraction for both introverts and extroverts. Research, however,indicates that extroverts end up having a more fulfilling socialinteraction through social media than introverts have. Bothextroverts and introverts have certain social and psychological needsthat make them choose to use social media. Gratification factors fallunder the psychological and social needs (Giota&amp Kleftaras, 2013). They include the urge to look cool or beconsidered as such by peers, feeling good, entertainment, beinginformed, diversion, and peer identity. Extroverts are more likely tomeet these needs than introverts because they post pictures thatreceive positive responses from online friends or responses such aslikes on their personal status. The massive approval on social mediacompensates what they actually do not get in face-to-faceinteractions.


Anindividual’s personality style has a significant bearing on theirbehavior on Facebook and other social media networks. Social mediacommunication is interpersonal and it has the greatest potential toreplace face-to-face interactions. Extroverted and introvertedindividuals use social media to meet their social and psychologicalneeds. The patterns of online behavior on social media are consistentwith the behavioral traits associated with extroverts and introverts.Extroverts engage in more self-disclosure than introverts by sharingtheir photographs, inviting more friends, and tagging theirtimelines. Introverts communicate only with a clique of friends in amanner that is consistent with how they would like it to be inreal-life.


Giota,K. G., &amp Kleftaras, G. (2013). The role of personality anddepression in problematic use of social networking sites in Greece.Cyberpsychology:Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace,7(3).

Harbaugh,E. R. (2010). The effect of personality styles (level ofintroversion–extroversion) on social media use. TheElon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications,1(2), 70-86.

Schmit,L. I. N. D. S. A. Y. (2012). Personality and its effects on Facebookand self-disclosure. KatherineCurtis’s Spring ENC1102.