Social media behavior can be an useful indicator of an individual's feelings of self-esteem and self-determination, says a new study.
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University discovered that people with lower self-esteem tend to be much more concerned with what others post about them on Facebook, while users with higher self-esteem spend more effort on adding information to their personal profiles on the social network.
Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, Penn State said that the types of actions users take and the kinds of information they are adding to their Facebook walls and profiles are a refection of their identities.
The researchers said that people with both high and low self-esteem spend time crafting their online personas on Facebook, but choose different paths in that construction
According to their study, individuals with higher self-esteem have a greater sense of agency and spend more time adding information about their family, education and work experience to their profiles.
Users who have lower self-esteem continuously monitor their wall and delete unwanted posts from other users, according to the researchers.
Sundar said that the more one gets connected to Facebook, the stronger they feel that the items posted, for example-the pictures, are part of their identity and the more likely they are going to view these as their virtual possessions.
To measure self-esteem and self-monitoring, the researchers asked the participants to answer questions, including ones on self-worth and how they choose to present themselves in public.