President-elect Donald Trump follows all but 41 people on Twitter. His choices of who to follow reveal his taste in the kind of content he wants to see. For instance, there aren’t many politicians he follows, almost a fourth of the accounts he follows are his own hotels and golf clubs, and also a handful of conservative commenters.
From a comment we make to a photo we share, our social media decisions and choices reveal a lot more about us than we may think.
Here are three things you’re probably revealing about yourself on social media without being aware:
1. Your Fears
Anyone who has a need to express anger, hurt, fear or disappointment, but who has a fear of doing so, may be inadvertently revealing this fear by posting passive aggressive comments on social media, says clinical psychologist, Joseph Cilona.
Other people may be subconsciously revealing a fear of not being accepted, by posting viral content that gets attention. People like this, says Cilona, are interested in using buzz content to have an audience and respond to how that audience reacts to their post. Their fear of lacking social validation can be seen by the viral content they frequently post.
Fears aren’t limited to how you’re perceived on social media either. Halloween Express analyzed posts on Instagram that used the hashtag #scared. They found a lot of hair-raising fears people share across the country, and how fears even differ by state.
The number one fear we all share, according to their analysis, is fear of the unknown. And prison is the second-biggest fear expressed on Instagram.
2. Your Mental Health
Are you using the Inkwell filter on Instagram a lot? It could indicate you’re depressed, according to researchers.
In a study conducted by Andrew G. Reece and Christopher M. Danforth, of Harvard University and The University of Vermont, respectively, a computer script was used to analyze 166 Instagram users accounts for indications of depression.
In looking at four categories – color and brightness, number of faces in the photo, use of Instagram filters, and data such as the number of comments or likes – the computer accurately made a depression diagnosis at a “25 percent improvement over those human rates.”
They found people who are depressed are less likely to use Instagram filters at all, but if they do, Inkwell is the common choice (making the photo black and white). They also post photos that are bluer, greyer and darker in tone, as well as photos with fewer faces in them. Posts by people who are depressed also tend to have more comments and fewer likes.
3. Your Personality
What do you share on social media? Some share what they did over the weekend, some express an opinion about a book they read, and others use their social accounts to show off an achievement.
The choices you make on social media reveal what you’re doing, what you’re thinking about or who you’re in love with.
In a study that examined the traits and motives that influence the topics that people choose to update their Facebook status with, researchers found some interesting results.
To conduct their study, the researchers had 555 Facebook user’s complete measures of the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism), “self-esteem, narcissism, motives for using Facebook, and frequency of updating about a range of topics.”
Here’s what they discovered:
Openness is linked to more intellectual statuses. Narcissists update more frequently about their achievements, diet, and exercise. People who are extraverted like to update their online friends on their social activities more frequently. And updating your status about your romantic partners was found to be negatively associated with self-esteem.
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover. But there’s a lot you can determine about someone’s personality, fears and mental health by looking at their social media accounts.