Shy? You Probably Use Facebook More Than Anyone

This is kind of surprising.  Shy people use Facebook longer, but disclose less on it.

According to a new study, it’s the quiet ones who are logging in longer, says an assistant professor in the Communications Arts Department at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) at

“The shy people spend more time on Facebook, but they disclose less information,” says Dr. Pavica Sheldon, who has done several studies on use of the social media site by university students.  "I'll poke you. You'll poke me!" Self-disclosure, social attraction, predictability and trust are important predictors of Facebook relationships, says another expert.

Makes sense to me.  I must confess, I'm a bit of a coward when it comes to confronting people.  But I do it well on the Web.  It's much easier to say things (but sometimes unwise) in writing than face-to-face.  I don't think I'd ever break up with someone by texting but I hear it's been done.  A lot.

For an introvert, using the site doesn’t always mean posting to it, she points out. Maybe she's just reading and observing (or, like me, agonizing about all the parties she wasn't invited to!).  Sheldon's research shows that introverts spend more time on Facebook than extroverts do. “Shy people and people who are more lonely use Facebook to pass the time,” she says.

But it's the extroverts ( narcissists and people who desire great control over how they present themselves) who benefit most from Facebook.  Even though introverts spend more time, the more extroverted a person is, the more status posts he or she is likely to make, says Sheldon.

We've all seen the endless posts about dinners at home and out, the cute kitties taking a bath, or licking their whiskers or sleeping in front of the fire.  Or the kid who excels at soccer and baseball and basketball and football and . . .you get the drift. 

No, shy people don't tend to post stuff like that. 

“Narcissists like fame, they like to be seen,” Sheldon says.“What I found out is that my research supports the ‘rich get richer’ hypothesis.  Those users who are richer in their offline relationships will also benefit more from their use of Facebook. The more extroverted you are, the more you will benefit.”

And what about the selfie addict? Narcissists and those who score highly in self-monitoring – the ability to alter their behavior to adjust to changing social situations – tend to post more photos than other users.

“Posting pictures gives them more control over how they are being presented,” Dr. Sheldon says. And we all know how much we want to look popular and liked and live exciting lives, now, don't we?


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