Social media networking sites are a true force to be reckoned with. They have proven themselves to be real social entities which impact people’s daily lives, their interactions with others and one’s own self-awareness. While social media was on the upsurge as a new phenomenon during my college years, I’m sure there are classes now that analyze the sociology behind social media and all the various ways it shapes identity.
With that being said…I’ve been extremely observant and developed a list of online personalities we have all seen, perhaps rolled our eyes at, and may be displaying every time we click the log-in button.
The Digital Narcissist: The digital narcissist has an obsession with social media sites and looking at how much people like what they post. They check their various sites at least 10 times a day, make frequent posts and status updates and enjoy selfies, likes, comments, photo tags and hashtags.
Pros: At their best, a digital narcissist is complimentary, enthusiastic, confident and according to their frequent posts they have a structured life with consistent routines.
Cons: At their worst, digital narcissists are self-centered, delusional, share too much information, and send annoying app invites and party requests that no one cares about.
Social Media Socialite: The social media socialite is fixated on showing how awesome their life is by highlighting their food choices, their friends, vacations and random cultured shenanigans. Unlike the digital narcissist the social media socialite does not rely on selfies, frequent updates and obsessive hashtags.
Pros: At their best, the social media socialite is endearing, authentic, well-rounded and is a great person to ask when you need recommendations for food, fashion, travel and leisure.
Cons: At their worst, the social media socialite is contrived, pretentious, shallow and is a digital narcissist with better clothes and more disposable income.
Modern Day Philosopher: This social media user views their network as a platform to enlighten, educate, challenge and promote political issues, social reform and self-improvement. They are intentional about their posts and feel that their online presence is substantive.
Pros: At their best the Modern Day Philosopher is insightful, empathetic, encouraging, and trusted for their posts of thoughtful articles, quotes, and inspirational videos.
Cons: At their worst the Modern Day Philosopher is irrelevant, condescending, annoying and overcompensating for feelings of unintelligence or other unaccomplished goals.
Purveyor of Ratchet Pop Culture: This social media persona uses their social media as an expansive online conversation between friends to share their thoughts about any and every thing that happens under the sun. They use and coin online abbreviations and acronyms religiously. They love posting humorous pictures and videos from TMZ, World Star Hip Hop or other frivolous internet foolery.
Pros: At their best the Purveyor of Ratchet Pop Culture is hilarious, relatable, likable, and have great timing for posting hilarious memes that can lift someone’s spirits and provide a much needed laugh.
Cons: At their worst the Purveyor of Ratchet Pop Culture is trivial, crass, prone to gossip, and lacks ambition or drive.
Voyeurs Anonymous: This social media user sees their network as an entertainment movie in which they have front row seats. They love to read, like, and share other people’s posts but do not reveal much of their own thoughts online or make status updates.
Pros: At their best a Voyeur Anonymous is friendly, thoughtful and stable. When this user does decide to post they share relevant, meaningful or sentimental information that is well received in their network.
Cons: At their worst Voyeurs Anonymous are online stalkers, conspiracy theorists, jealous and say some of the most hateful and cynical things about people offline.
Opinion Chameleons: This social media user is a hybrid mix of some of the other personas, but it’s true colors are shown during times of mass public tension and controversy. Their defining characteristic is that they have no filter when expressing their strong/radical opinions about topics like same-sex marriage, racial profiling and dynamics or immigration.
Pros: At their best, an Opinion Chameleon is logical, thought-provoking, fair and can gracefully leave comments in discussion threads that don’t lead to arguments.
Cons: At their worst, an Opinion Chameleon is insensitive, uses inflammatory language, is purposefully oppositional/argumentative and will cling to “free speech” as a means to be verbally reckless.