I have a quick question for you.
Are you a relationship builder, a town crier, a selfie person, or a window shopper?
Don't know what I'm talking about? It's fine.
According to a recent study conducted by communications professors at Brigham Young University, there are four different types of Facebook users out there.
And, more than likely, you fall into at least one of those categories.
Allow to me break them down for you.
1. Relationship Builders
You use Facebook as a sort of supplement to your life's events, meaning you post your own statuses, comment on other people's statuses, check up on loved ones.
You're the kind of person who actually uses Facebook, particularly as a way to virtually strengthen relationships you've already established.
You're far from a window shopper (but we'll get to that later).
2. Town Criers
You're the informative, and at times, maybe even annoying one on your friend's Facebook feed, constantly sharing everything from politics to viral entertainment news pieces.
You have a lot to say about every and any social issue, and you're usually critiquing the world's lack of something, or calling a group of people to action.
Everyone knows about the latest breaking news, simply because of you.
You may be just one person, but you are the Al Sharpton, the PETA, the justice-will-be-served guru of your Facebook friends.
The thing is, though, people are annoyed by you. But they do also appreciate you. Without you, who knows what's going on in the world, right?
A selfie user is exactly what it sounds like: self-serving.
Which isn't a bad thing, by the way.
These users simply like to post photos and videos of themselves, make frequent, text-like status updates, and they prefer to use Facebook for its likability functions.
Selfie users expect engagement with their posts: comments, likes, shares, the works.
The more of that they have, the better they feel.
4. Window Shoppers
Unlike any of the above three categories, window shoppers simply like to scroll on by.
You'll know everyone's business, but no one would even know that you use Facebook, much less have one, because you literally do nothing on there but look at everyone else's life happenings.
It's the virtual equivalent to people-watching.
Since you're probably wondering, here's how this study was done.
Researchers compiled a list of 48 statements of potential reasons why people use Facebook.
Subjects sorted each statement according to how they felt, then rated each statement on a scale of “most like me” to “least like me.”
Following that, the researchers interviewed each Facebook user for a deeper understanding of their connection to those statements.
The study's findings showed that Facebook users sometimes identify with multiple categories, but typically, one category would rank higher than all the others.
According to Kris Boyle, one of the researchers on the study, "social media is so ingrained in everything we do right now. And most people don't think about why they do it, but if people can recognize their habits, that at least creates awareness."
According to these categories, I am a proud selfie-relationship-builder, thank you very much.
How about you?