What your Facebook profile really says about you.

By Leanne Hall

You know who they are. Status updates every 10 mins, a constant rotation of “selfie” profile pictures and a banner photo of an inspirational quote copied from some one else……in fact, probably from you.

They are “The Wannabe’s”. People who create their Facebook profile to represent who they want to be.  These people spend their time creating a virtual identity in which they appear to be living the perfect life. They cyber stalk other profiles, often copying ideas/quotes, liking the same pages, even adding and accepting random friend requests in their quest to become popular. What they are doing is constructing a version of themself that is more acceptable to them than the real life version.

Before you click on your own profile page and delete your last 20 status updates and recent selfies – let’s be honest, we are all a little bit like this. Facebook is a vehicle that allows us to experiment a little with our identity.  I mean, who doesn’t use fancy filters and check in when they are somewhere remotely interesting? The difference is that while most of us are content tweaking an otherwise intact identity, Wannabe’s often have a very fragile sense of self. Maybe they were bullied when they were young, or maybe they just don’t like themselves very much. The point is Facebook allows them to reinvent themselves and become the butterfly that no one has ever seen before. And once they start, they cannot stop.

Young Woman Being Bullied

 So what are the tell tale signs of a Facebook Wannabe?

  1. Status updates every 10-20 minutes. These people basically live their whole life on line.
  2. Cryptic updates. Regular updates that are aimed at getting loads of comments. They tell you only part of the story, and the comments validate the fact that they have an audience who is paying attention to them.
  3. Wayyyyyy too many selfies. We all do them, however these people will take a selfie every time they buy a new outfit, and every time they leave the house! It’s all about reassurance; “you look so hot” “wow, you look amazing”. Their self-esteem is based on external validation, rather than a genuine acceptance of self.
  4. Commenting on your photos and updates that were posted weeks ago. Remember, they live on line and miss nothing – so this can only mean one thing……they are stalking you, possibly to see if they can borrow a part of your identity to make theirs more interesting.
  5. Sending friend requests to friends of friends whom they do not even know. Yep, it’s a numbers game. More friends = popular!
  6. Wannabe’s often don’t have many real life friends; hence their photos are often of themselves, their pets, food, scenery and perhaps the odd family member.
  7. They often also claim to be leading an extremely busy life, interesting if you think about the time it takes to construct and maintain a virtual identity online?

If this describes you, or someone you know – the answer is simple. Learn to disconnect, unplug, and take time off social networking. Creating healthy boundaries around technology use is a must. This can take time to achieve, but is well worth it!

Focus on building real relationships with real people and leave your phone in your bag when you go out.  If you’re always looking through a camera lens, or obsessing over your next status update you will miss the moment!

After all, life is a lot more fun if you live in the moment……with a flat phone battery and no internet connection!

About Leanne Hall - Leanne is a clinical psychologist, personal trainer & health coach. She believes that good physical health is the key to good mental health, and combines evidence based treatments with principles of holistic health – including good nutrition & an active and balanced lifestyle. Leanne is also married with 2 young children, loves to run, lift weights and cook wholesome raw food!