Adrian Chan explores the different Social Media Personality Types
Chan believes that exploring the different personality types is important to anyone wanting to profit from social media. While I found the concept both interesting and valuable, I felt there were a few flaws in the personality types themselves. I found it difficult to find what personality type I am. I don’t believe I fell into any of the type well enough to feel comfortable saying that I fit that particular label. I am also concerned with this idea that everyone fits into one of the 11 labels. The belief that we can all be filed under a few specific personality types gives the impression that we lose our sense of individuality and even our sense of self. While I understand that anyone looking to sell something needs to understand who they are selling to so that they can “target” their audience, I may backfire if the business targets their audience under the belief that everyone falls under one of these personality types they may run the risk of missing out a large audience of people who do not fall neatly into one of these categories. I have a hard time with the idea that everyone fits into neat little boxes and all anyone had to do is figure out what box we belong into so that we can be targeted for products.
It seems to me that one major thing that has come with the technology crazy is the idea that we are no longer individuals, and unfortunately social media sites seem to have helped this idea grow. When we enter the world of social media sites the need to fit in or belong can become so great to some (and I stress the word some) that we take on a different persona. A persona that is similar to others in what ever group we want to belong to. Because of this the idea that everyone can be placed into one of only a few categories has become a more accepted ideology.
Which box (if any) do you belong to? (I summarized Chan’s types in Blue – and in Red is what I took it to mean)
Status Seeker –Does your sense of self have to do with the number of friends you have on your friends list and/or what you have? Do you avoid deep and meaningful conversation? Are you superficial and materialistic?
Critic –Do you feel media should be used only for meaningful information? Do you avoid socializing unless the conversation is one of substance because socializing is just a waist of time? Do you find value in correcting your own or others mistakes? Do you feel superior to others because they use social media to “play” while you only use it for meaningful activities.
Socializer – Do you feel the need to keep constantly informed? Does your sense of well-being come from online interactions? Do you “play along” with a conversation because it makes you feel involved? Are you needy and feel like you must be apart of every conversation, even if it doesn’t involve you?
Em-Cee –Do you use social media to perform for others? Are you more interested in receiving attention from others during a conversation rather than being a substantive contributor? Are you insecure about your own self-worth so you feel the need to be the class clown in an attempt to gain the approval of others?
Lurker – Would you rather watch a conversation than participate? Are your emotional sensibilities governed by how you feel you are presenting yourself to others? Do you log on to social media sites and do a lot of surfing and avoid drawing attention to yourself? Are you shy and afraid of how others may perceive you?
Buddy – Do you thrive on your friendships? Do you feel the need to stay up to date with the current online lingo? Do you feel the need to stay informed on what others (your “friends”) think of you? Are you always afraid that you will miss out on something?
Creator – Do you care more about what media can help you to create/build/publish then for staying informed and/or socializing? Does your sense of self come from the recognizance of others for what you have created? Are you concerned with providing content that can be shared/commented on? Are you fearful of being forgotten?
Pundit – Do you consider yourself an industry leader? That it is your job to keep others informed on the latest news? Does your sense of self come from playing “news anchor”? Are you a gossip?
Rebel – Do you feel the need to heckle others? Do you use social games to undermine those who take it seriously? Do you feel a sense of superiority over others and do you enjoy showing off? Do you have low self-esteem and put down others to make yourself feel better about yourself?
Officiator – Are you all about the rules? Do you believe in a “one size fits all” for rules of conduct, cooperation and collaboration? Do you view relationships in terms of the abstract? Do you develop relationships in terms of their description? Do you use your knowledge of rules to show superiority over others? Are you a perfectionist who believes that your way is the right (only) way?
Harmonizer – Are you the ultimate mediator? Are you constantly aware where you stand in relation to others? Are you more interested in making others happy than in your own happiness? Are you more interested in attention from friends and family rather than from strangers? Are you a people-pleaser? Do you avoid conflict, even if that conflict does really concern you?
While my take on the personality types may not be exactly what Chan was trying to say, it is how I took it, and perception plays a huge role on social media sites, and the thought that companies may use this idea that we all fall into one of these 11 personalities as a way to target us gives the impression that they no longer see us as unique individuals. I personally believe that my personality is a mix of a couple of boxes, I am a little bit critic with a touch of lurker, a splash of officiator and a pinch of buddy. So I guess that would make my social media personality category, Officiating-lurking-critical-buddy!
What’s your social personality??