Frontiers in Psychological and Behavioral Science          
Frontiers in Psychological and Behavioral Science(FPBS)
ISSN:2309-012X(Print)       ISSN:2309-0138(Online)
Excessive Self-Presentation on Facebook One Year of Analysis of Online Posting
Full Paper(PDF, 135KB)
Facebook and social networks in general have exploded in popularity in the last several years, becoming a social institution for teenagers, who use it for self-presentation and as a fundamental tool to project their personal identity and manage social relationships. Taking the opportunity to reveal psychological features by analyzing personal profiles, this study examined the relationship between linguistic style, self-presentation, and other activities on Facebook over the course of one year. Through the linguistic analysis of 50 adolescents’ profiles, a new model titled “The Excessive Online Self-Presentation Model” was developed by considering only the contents of their public posts. Results showed how excessive self-presentation consisted of disclosing personal information, and with a higher number of words per post. Moreover, it was discovered that the frequent use of sexual language was associated with attention-seeking behaviors. The findings of this study were in line with prior research on the content differences in online self-presentation, confirming how linguistic analysis can be a useful tool to analyze cognitive dynamics within virtual environments, and providing a new assessment model to reveal fundamental psychological characteristics of adolescent online behavior.
Keywords:Facebook Use; Self-Presentation; Narcissism; Adolescent; Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count
Author: Andrea Guazzini1, Cristina Cecchini2, Elisa Guidi2, Monica Milani3, Patrizia Meringolo4
1.Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence, Via di San Salvi, 12, Building 26, 50135 Florence, Italy
2.Department of Information Engineering, University of Florence, Via di San Marta, 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
3.Department of Informatics and Systems, University of Florence, Via di San Marta, 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
4.Centre for the Study of Complex Dynamics (CSDC), University of Florence, Via Sansone, 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy
  1. D. M. Boyd and N. B. Ellison, “Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 13(1), pp. 210-230, 2007.
  2. N. C. Krämer and N. Haferkamp, “Online self-presentation: Balancing privacy concerns and impression construction on social networking sites,” In S. Trepte and L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy online: Perspectives on privacy and self-disclosure in the social web, pp. 127-142, New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2011.
  3. E. Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, New York: Doubleday, pp. 135-146, 1959.
  4. H. Kim, H. C. Chan, and A. Knkanhalli, “What motivates people to purchase digital items on virtual community websites? The desire for online self-presentation,” Information System Research, vol. 23(4), pp. 1232-1245, 2012.
  5. N. C. Krämer and S. Winter, “Impression management 2.0: The relationship of self-esteem, extraversion, self-efficacy, and self-presentation within social networking sites,” Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, vol. 20(3), pp. 106-116, 2008.
  6. S. Mehdizadeh, “Self-presentation 2.0: Narcissism and self-esteem on Facebook,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 13(4), pp. 357-364, 2010.
  7. L. E. Buffardi and W. K. Campbell, “Narcissism and social networking web sites,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 34(10), pp. 1303-1314, 2008.
  8. M. M. Strano, “User descriptions and interpretations of self-presentation through Facebook profile images,” Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, vol. 2(2), pp. 1-11, 2008.
  9. E. Christofides, A. Muise, and S. Desmarais, “Information disclosure and control on Facebook: are they two sides of the same coin or two different processes?,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, vol. 12(3), pp. 341-345, 2009.
  10. S. M. Bergman, M. E. Fearrington, S. W. Davenport, and J. Z. Bergman, “Millennials, narcissism, and social networking: What narcissists do on social networking sites and why,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 50(5), pp. 706-711, 2011.
  11. C. J. Carpenter, “Narcissism on Facebook: Self-promotional and anti-social behavior,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 52(4), pp. 482-486, 2012.
  12. F. G. Deters, M. R. Mehl, and M. Eid, “Narcissistic power poster? On the relationship between narcissism and status updating activity on Facebook,” Journal of Research in Personality, vol. 53, pp. 165-174, 2014.
  13. L. D. Rosen, K. Whaling, S. Rab, L. M. Carrier, and N. A. Cheever, “Is Facebook creating ‘‘iDisorders’’? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 29(3), pp. 1243-1254, 2013.
  14. M. Kosinski, D. Stillwell, and T. Graepel, “Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 110(15), pp. 5802-5805, 2013.
  15. E. Y. Ong, R. P. Ang, J. Ho, J. C. Lim, D. H. Goh, C. S. Lee, and A. Y. Chua, “Narcissism, extraversion and adolescents’ self-presentation on Facebook,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 50(2), pp. 180-185, 2011.
  16. S. Winter, G. Neubaum, S. C. Eimler, V. Gordon, J. Theil, J. Herrmann, J. Meinert, and N. C. Krämer, “Another brick in the Facebook wall–How personality traits relate to the content of status updates,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 34, pp. 194-202, 2014.
  17. K. T. Li-Barber, “Self-disclosure and student satisfaction with Facebook,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 28(2), pp. 624-630, 2012.
  18. J. Choi and Y. Kim, “The moderating effects of gender and number of friends on the relationship between self-presentation and brand-related word-of-mouth on Facebook,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 68, pp. 1-5, 2014.
  19. N. Haferkamp, S. C. Eimler, A. M. Papadakis, and J. V. Kruck, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus? Examining gender differences in self-presentation on social networking sites,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 15(2), pp. 91-98, 2012.
  20. F. Y. Kuo, C. Y. Tseng, F. C. Tseng, and C. S. Lin, “A study of social information control affordances and gender difference in Facebook self-presentation,” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 16(9), pp. 635-644, 2013.
  21. P. Sheldon, “Examining gender differences in self-disclosure on Facebook versus face-to-face,” The Journal of Social Media in Society, vol. 2(1), pp. 88-105, 2013.
  22. S. Tifferet and I. Vilnai-Yavetz, “Gender differences in Facebook self-presentation: An international randomized study,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 35, pp. 388-399, 2014.
  23. P. Sorokowski, A. Sorokowska, A. Oleszkiewicz, T. Frackowiak, A. Huk, and K. Pisanski, “Selfie posting behaviors are associated with narcissism among men,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 85, pp. 123-127, 2015.
  24. N. S. Holtzman, S. Vazire, and M. R. Mehl, “Sounds like a narcissist: Behavioral manifestations of narcissism in everyday life,” Journal of Research in Personality, vol. 44(4), pp. 478-484, 2010.
  25. A. Nadkarni and S. G. Hofmann, “Why do people use Facebook?,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 52(3), pp. 243-249, 2012.
  26. S. Day, “Self-disclosure on Facebook: How much do we really reveal?,” Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology, vol. 17(1), pp. 1-8, 2013.
  27. Z. Jordán-Conde, B. Mennecke, and A. Townsend, “Late adolescent identity definition and intimate disclosure on Facebook,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 33, pp. 356-366, 2014.
  28. (2015) Newsroom [Online]. Available:
  29. A. D. Krämer, J. E. Guillory, and J. T. Hancock, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111(24), pp. 8788-8790, 2014.
  30. T. G. Robinson, “Not so private lives,” CED, vol. 32(9), pp. 45-46, 2006.
  31. S. Livingstone, “Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers’ use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression,” New Media & Society, vol. 10(3), pp. 393-411, 2008.
  32. M. Madden, A. Lenhart, S. Cortesi, U. Gasser, M. Duggan, A. Smith, and M. Beaton, “Teens, social media, and privacy,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2014, from
  33. E, Van Gool, J. Van Ouytsel, K. Ponnet, and M. Walrave, “To share or not to share? Adolescents’ self-disclosure about peer relationships on Facebook: An application of the Prototype Willingness Model,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 44, pp. 230-239, 2015.
  34. J. Van Ouytsel, M. Walrave, and K. Ponnet, “How schools can help their students to strengthen their online reputations,” The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, vol. 87(4), pp. 180-185, 2014.
  35. T. Holtgraves, “Text messaging, personality, and the social context,” Journal of Research in Personality, vol. 45(1), pp. 92-99, 2011.
  36. M. R. Mehl, S. D. Gosling, and J. W. Pennebaker, “Personality in its natural habitat: manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 90(5), pp. 862-877, 2006.
  37. J. W. Pennebaker, M. R. Mehl, and K. G. Niederhoffer, “Psychological aspects of natural language use: Our words, our selves,” Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 54(1), pp. 547-577, 2003.
  38. C. K. Chung and J. W. Pennebaker, Counting little words in big data: The psychology of communities, culture, and history, Social Cognition and Communication, Psychology Press, New York, USA, pp. 1-31, 2014.
  39. B. Rime, B. Mesquita, S. Boca, and P. Philippot, “Beyond the emotional event: Six studies on the social sharing of emotion,” Cognition & Emotion, vol. 5(5-6), pp. 435-465, 1991.
  40. D. J. Cegala, “A study of selected linguistic components of involvement in interaction,” Western Journal of Communication (includes Communication Reports), vol. 53(3), pp. 311-326, 1989.
  41. E. T. Panek, Y. Nardis, and S. Konrath, “Mirror or Megaphone?: How relationships between narcissism and social networking site use differ on Facebook and Twitter,” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 29(5), pp. 2004-2012, 2013.
  42. N. N. Bazarova, J. G. Taft, Y. H. Choi, and D. Cosley, “Managing impressions and relationships on Facebook: Self-presentational and relational concerns revealed through the analysis of language style,” Journal of Language and Social Psychology, vol. 32(2), pp. 121-141, 2012.
  43. H. A. Schwartz, J. C. Eichstaedt, M. L. Kern, L. Dziurzynski, S. M. Ramones, M. Agrawal, A. Shah, M. Kosinski, D. Stillwell, M. E. P. Seligman, and L. H. Ungarm, “Personality, gender, and age in the language of social media: The open-vocabulary approach,” PloS One, vol. 8(9), pp. e73791, 2013.
  44. C. N. DeWall, L. E. Buffardi, I. Bonser, and W. K. Campbell, “Narcissism and implicit attention seeking: Evidence from linguistic analyses of social networking and online presentation,” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 51(1), pp. 57-62, 2011.
  45. J. W. Pennebaker, C. K. Chung, M. Ireland, A. Gonzales, and R. J. Booth, The Development and Psychometric Properties of LIWC2007, Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, pp. 1-22, 2007.
  46. J. Gasiorek, H. Giles, T. Holtgraves, and S. Robbins, “Celebrating thirty years of the JLSP analyses and prospects,” Journal of Language and Social Psychology, vol. 31(4), pp. 361-375, 2012.
  47. Y. R. Tausczik and J. W. Pennebaker, “The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods,” Journal of Language and Social Psychology, vol. 29(1), pp. 24-54, 2010.
  48. W. K. Campbell and S. M. Campbell, “On the self-regulatory dynamics created by the peculiar benefits and costs of narcissism: A contextual reinforcement model and examination of leadership,” Self and Identity, vol. 8(2-3), pp. 214-232, 2009.
  49. D. L. Paulhus, “Normal narcissism: Two minimalist accounts,” Psychological Inquiry, vol. 12, pp. 228-230, 2001.
  50. F. G. Deters and M. R. Mehl, “Does posting Facebook status updates increase or decrease loneliness? An online social networking experiment,” Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 4, pp. 579-586, 2013.
  51. J. G. Adair, “The Hawthorne Effect: A reconsideration of the methodological artifact,” Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 69(2), pp. 334-345, 1984.
  52. R. Rosenthal and L. Jacobson, Pygmalion in the classroom, New York: Irvington, pp. 16-20, 1992.