People use social networking for different reasons. Some of them are there to make new friends or connect with old classmates, while others are there because someone basically set up their profile for them. Just as I believe that there are five stages that most people pass through in their Facebook development (aka, the Five Stages of Facebookification,) I also have observed that, for the most part, everyone on Facebook can be described using one of ten common personas.
While I certainly haven’t covered them all, these seem to be the ones I encounter the most and seemed worthy of the top ten.
1. The Activist
This person is a crusader. The Activists are always asking you to join their causes. From Save the Dolphins to Spreading the Gospel, this Facebook user urges you to join in the collective movement for whatever it may be.
2. The Trivialite
The Trivialite is the person who posts every little detail of their daily routine regardless of how mundane it may be. “My son pooped.” “Going to get in the shower.” “Time to get the mail.”
You get the idea.
3. The Publicist
A user who falls into the persona of Publicist typically uses their Facebook time to post messages about their business or to send invitations for events they want you to attend. The Publicist does not have to be someone in the traditional field of public relations. It can be anyone. This includes DJs, nightclubs, bloggers, marketers, etc.
4. The Lurker
The Lurkers are watching you, reading your posts, but rarely contributing to anything on Facebook. They only sit back and watch from afar (sort of like a voyeur) but it doesn’t have to be in a sexual way.
Have you ever been surprised when someone unexpected approached you and said, “I saw you had a great weekend …”? That could be your Lurker.
5. The Elder
The Elder is an older relative (like your grandma) or other novice computer user who only signed up because someone did it for them. Occasionally, the Elder becomes proficient in using Facebook, and in the process begins posting messages on your wall or watching conversations with your friends that makes you regret the day you ever thought it’d be cute to have them on Facebook.
6. The Socialite
The Socialite is very active on Facebook. This is the person who is always posting on your wall, everyone else’s wall, sending happy birthday notes, tagging you in photos, sending you Growing Gifts, taking quizzes, unlocking questions about you, uploading YouTube videos, updating their avatar, changing their profile pic … etcetera … etcetera.
They are always doing something.
7. The Comedian
The Comedian is the jokester. They are the class clown of the Facebook world. Sometimes this person simply posts jokes. Other times, their status updates are just oozing with as much wit and humor as they can muster to get a reaction.
8. The Gamer
This person will be your Facebook friend mainly to build up their Mafia or add crops to their Farmville. Don’t take it personally. They may very well like you, but that’s secondary to their main objective: total game domination.
9. The Philosopher
This is the person who always posts esoteric status updates or feels compelled to share their high level of intellect with you through messages on your wall. The Philosopher gets personal satisfaction from eliciting comments, particularly if they have to do with how profound the Philosopher’s words were.
10. The Enthusiast
The Enthusiast can have a love of anything. This could be a travel enthusiast, cooking enthusiast, fitness enthusiast, an enthusiastic parent—there are tons of varieties—who tell you how amazing their latest endeavor was. Sometimes, their accomplishments are so cool you wish you could be more like them. Occasionally, the enthusiasm can be mistaken for bragging if they are too nonchalant.
For example, “I ran twenty-five miles before heading to the office, just another Monday.”
“I scaled Mt. Everest yesterday and boy am I tired.”
“I baked the most phenomenal soufflé for dinner.”
I love the fact that Facebook is a melting pot of personas. Diversity is what makes the real world and your virtual world interesting.
Can you think of who from your Facebook friends fall into these categories? Or better yet, which are you?
Reader Note: You can now find the word “Facebookification” in the Urban Dictionary here: Facebookification.urbanup.com/5368122