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Personality is Key

September 4, 2012

The Internet is part of our everyday lives, and who we are guides how we use it.

According to Myers (2007), the self is the most researched topic in psychology. “Our sense of self organizes our thoughts, feelings and actions”(Myers, 2007, p. 25).

When you complete the sentence, “I am ________” you are essentially defining or describing your identity, how you see yourself, your personality.

Studies linking personality to social media offer some insights into how our personality affects the way we approach and interact with and use the social media technology. Results from a number of studies (Correa, Hinsley, de de Zúñiga, 2010) and (Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Wainapel, G., & Fox, S. 2004), have identified that Extraversion in particular is positively related to social media use. Findings also indicate that extroverted individuals reported higher levels of social networking site use.  Interestingly though, Amichai- Hamburger, Wainapel and Fox’s study revealed that Introverts report that they locate their “real me” on the Internet, while Extraverts locate their “real me” through traditional social interaction.Extraversion involves attributes like enjoying human interactions, talkativeness, assertiveness, and enjoying risk-taking. Extraverts are described as social, active, and talkative, and are, in general, more strongly interested in interactions with other people compared to introverts. They are friendly people who seek company, desire excitement, take risks and act on impulse. Conversely Introverts are seen as generally withdrawn, retiring, quiet, and deliberate. They are reflective people who prefer their own company.

One of the most popular personality tests to determine Extraversion and Introversion (as well as preferences along three other personality scales) is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

A free mini version of the test is available at Human Metrics .

Once you’ve identified your ‘type’ click on the infographic below to find out more.CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL INFOGRAPHIC


10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2012 11:01 AM

    Great blog Roxanne. I love the poll and was surprised to see the majority are introverts like me. I’m generally a very private person, and find social media somewhat daunting and intrusive. I don’t want everyone to know everything, in fact, I don’t like putting much on line at all. Partly for privacy of where the data is held, who can access it, and partly because I just like my life to be mine. Personally, I have to disagree with Amichai- Hamburger, Wainapel and Fox’s study as I can’t say anyone would get a picture of the “real me” from what is on the Internet, but it’s an interesting finding all the same.

    • September 12, 2012 1:40 PM

      Hi Anna sorry still getting the hang of this blogging thing..keep leaving myself a comment rather than replying … reply to you which was sent a few days ago is below… Cheers Roxanne

  2. September 7, 2012 11:26 AM

    Hey Anna great to hear from you. Yes I’m an introvert too so I’m finding this all a bit daunting. However I am thinking even though it is difficult how good is it to be learning in such a supportive environment as the class at UTS. Re the studies the authors do say that the area of personality in relation to social media use is relatively new territory for research so maybe as more studies are done the insights will be a little broader.
    Thanks for taking the poll too.

  3. September 9, 2012 4:31 AM

    Hi Roxanne. Great post. I’m also interested to see whether there’s any difference in the types of media people engage in depending on their personality type – blogs v twitter / facebook? Judging by our class there is a difference – but I wonder whether that applies more broadly?

    • September 9, 2012 1:03 PM

      Hi Catherine
      Thanks for coming to the site. There isn’t a great deal of research yet on personality shaping social media use. Some studies have focussed mostly on the Big 5 Personality traits Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.
      And they usually report a link between Openness,Extraversion and Neuroticism. I liked the MBTI because we had been talking about it in class and I use the MBTI at work so I’m familiar with the model. I’m sure there is much more to discover so if I find more I’ll let you know.

  4. September 10, 2012 11:26 AM

    Hi Roxanne great blog and post I am impressed !

    I agree with you, personality could affect the way how we interact in social media. However, culture is the main factor for interacting in social media.

    According to Geert Hofstede: Australia is a highly individualistic culture. Australian people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I”, On the contrary, In Collectivist societies such as Brazil, people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty, people´s self-image is defined in terms of “We”.

    Following your poll 75% defined themselves as introvert and 25% as extroverts this may ring the bell !

    .For more info in :Geert Hofstede:

    • September 12, 2012 1:37 PM

      Hi Consuelo Thanks for coming to the site. Appreciate your comments and the link and the tip re Hofstede. Are you from Brazil? I’m thinking maybe……So you think culture has most to do with interacting… I wonder what culture we are developing in this course ..this mini culture if you like…. Not an individualistic one I think .. we are ..and you are certainly ….thinking of others…and making connections …reciprocity ..that’s what makes the world go round…. Until next time, Roxanne

      • October 9, 2012 8:09 AM

        Hi Roxanne I am from Chile, very close to Brazil. Thanks you for your words and I agree with you about culture;

        I have an example for work where I manage four twitter accounts for : Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Bolivia. The level of interaction is very high as you can expect, overall the Brazil account is the busiest one and Brazil is the openest country in Latin-America.

        My colleague who manage the Australian account ( who has a more easy job ) always make jokes and says you are problem is that south-Americans like to speak a lot ! I I think he is absolutely right
        Also I agree with you I love our sub-culture I am going to miss it !

  5. October 9, 2012 12:43 PM

    Roxanne, was surprised that the poll revealed 75% of us are introverts! One wonders why we are putting ourselves through this extraversion.

    Consuelo’s reference to Hofstede’s dimensions is something I hadn’t considered before. So perhaps our introversion is all culturally-based anyway and I needn’t feel I have a personality flaw because I am reserved on social media. I looked at my MBTI on the info graphic – yep, the shoe fits!

    • October 14, 2012 4:26 AM

      Hi Maree for me one important point about the introversion extraversion dimension is the notion of energy. Where you get it from and and where you direct it. Introverts get their energy from NOT Interacting with others but by going “inside” themselves if you like. Extraverts are exactly the opposite their batteries are recharged by lots of interaction in the external world. Obviously there are degrees of preference along the scale but for me with quite a high preference for introversion the hardest thing is sometimes after a day at work just though of another post or blog comment is exhausting. Having said that I am on balance enjoying the experience and learning lots. And from what I can tell from your own activity on your blog and other people’s blogs and your LinkedIn comments far from being a personality flaw your introversion allows you to make well thought out from the heart comments and they are always welcome:)

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