Sample Paper on Types of Social Media Users
Social media have experienced the outstanding growth and popularity globally. Almost all new gadgets such as laptops, tablets, and phones are fitted with social media applications. The impact of this social media outbreak on the lives of many varies. The mushroom existence of many social media platforms is overwhelming and over time, all generations both young and adult have come to embrace the presence of such social networks in their lives. While using such sites as Twitter, Instagram, snap chat, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or MySpace users begin to indicate addiction.
Despite the social media users using different platforms, most users of such platforms can fit into one of the three categories: the obsessed, the lurkers, and the attention seekers. The examples of personalities in the first categories include the ultras that check their social media feeds dozens of times a day. The deniers maintain that they do not need social media, but this group gets anxious if they are unable to access their platform, and the peacocks that engage in a popularity contest and seek to get a high number of followers, likes, and fans.
Far from the obsessed are the lurkers, some of the personalities of social media users in this category range from the shy ones to those that hide their identity from the public. They include the dippers who are not frequent social media users; they access their pages irregularly and can go for days or weeks without visiting their pages. The ghosts are social media users who create fake profiles because they do not want to provide strangers with the personal information whereas the changelings adopt a completely different personality online.
Somewhere between such two extreme categories are the attention seekers. This group just want attention and to be popular. They include the informers who always want to break certain news, the quizzers use questions to interact while approval seekers are constantly in their timelines refreshing to check for comments under their posts and fret until someone responds. While providing entertainment, getting us up to speed on current issues, and opportunities to make new friends or keep track of the old ones, it is important to understand the traits of social media users.
The first category of social media users one will encounter or observe is the obsessed ones. The obsessed are addicted to their social media feeds and timelines and are all the time they are online. They cannot go for more than an hour before they pop up to refresh the timelines to post something new or check on what other users are posting. They cannot help their behavior; they get anxious when they are in a meeting or places where they cannot refresh their feeds, waiting for feeds to pop up. This category of users is very active and spends much time on one or many social media outlets.
They lack boundary on their posts, they post every event that happens in their lives and their surroundings. For example, what they ate for lunch, where they are traveling, what they are wearing, screenshots of their private conversations, and inappropriate pictures. Correa et al stated, “Their life revolves around major social media platforms, posting and updating their status” (248). Social media has become an integral part of their life and cannot live ordinary lives without it. Most of the users in this category do not see this habit as a problem that needs canceling, they happily admit their obsession and are contented to swipe the rest of the day.
In contrast to the obsessed category, the second category of social media partisans is the lurker. One notable trait from this category is that they are silent watchers, almost invisible. Their motivation for social media use is very different from the other categories. They do not use social media networks to update their status or express their opinion. They simply exist to track the feeds or timelines and post of users they find insightful; their yearning for others’ content is impeccable.
Lurkers browse both old and current feeds. They are stalkers whose interest is in a certain topic or person. An example is a person who meticulously browses through old posts and like in Instagram or twitter feeds searching for anything, that interests them. Such behavior is “kind of creepy” and the name or label for this category is from this behavior. Other social media users based on this behavior often ostracize lurkers.
The final category of social media users is the infamously acknowledged attention seekers. This gamut of social media users are suckers for attention and are almost on all the popular social networks. They will do anything to attract attention including buying followers and stealing posts and statuses to become popular. According to Correa et al., attention seekers are “individuals that solicit attention to an excessive degree’’ (249). This group of users is loud and very opinionated; they always comment on the post and are the first ones to bring breaking news to the timelines, many of this posts are intended to trigger hostile engagements and obviously this post receive numerous comments hence the attention they need.
Even as other users find this behavior rude and sickening, it is the kind of entertainment majority of users seek online. Most of the attentions seekers are in denial, they simply want to get attention online because in reality they are very unpopular hence denying this status is the first feature of identifying the online show-off. The group is contentious and often goes too far to receive it.
Whatever social media network various types of people are using, such users have forged a second life online. Social networks have taken over user’s identity. The obsessed are dependent on their online personalities and as a result, they are addicted and waste most of their time browsing. The lurkers are latent and silent watchers; they are furtively stalking their favorite feeds and users. Finally, there are the attention seekers identifiable by their desperate tactics to achieve popularity.
Correa, Teresa, Amber Willard Hinsley, and Homero Gil De Zuniga. “Who interacts on the Web? The intersection of users’ personality and social media use.” Computers in Human Behavior vol. 26 no. 2, 2010, 247-253.