Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

How to Figure out your Facebook friends

Profile shown on Thefacebook in 2005
Profile shown on Thefacebook in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to figure out your Facebook friends

You can learn a lot by analysing your friend’s profiles on Facebook. There are some glaringly obvious clues as to what is really going on behind people’s fancy and exciting timelines. Everything is exaggerated and embellished upon on Facebook. These tips that I’ll be giving you are generalisations so don’t take them too literally – there are always exceptions to the rule.

1) Look at the type of photos posted

As a general rule, people’s insecurities tend to play out on Facebook. Those with worries about their personal life will tend to try and compensate for any lack they feel by highlighting the opposite of this on Facebook. Here is an example:

Someone who feels lonely in  life or is worried about a lack of friends or a romantic relationship might inadvertently highlight this personal situation by taking every possible opportunity to post pictures of themselves with friends and/or members of the opposite sex. It is almost as if they do this to remind themselves that they do have people in their life. Posting many personal pictures is an unconscious attempt to convince themselves and their Facebook ‘friends’ that they are not the way they feel inside, nor living the life of an isolated person that does not feel connected in any real intimate way with others.

Facebook acts as a masking screen whereby we can live our lives more as we wish our lives to be rather than as they really are.It is easy to get tricked into believing that everybody else has a wonderful life and that yours is quite dull in comparison. The reality is that everyone of us, without exception, has dull boring moments, times of disillusionment,mundane frustrations and general life issues that annoy us. When you start to buy into the false reality that others paint on Facebook, you are on a path to restlessness, lack of fulfilment and a decrease in personal happiness.

2) Look for the underlying message

A lot can be hidden on Facebook but there will be a small amount of information that seeps through onto a person’s timeline. Remember to always take what you read and see on Facebook with a “pinch of salt”. We all tend to embellish as we are conditioned to put our best foot forward. “life is great…” (Actually, I hate my job and my partner’s and idiot) or “I’ve just been to the most amazing party…” (The truth is, I have a horrendous hangover and the party was boring as no one chatted me up) or “had the best holiday ever…” (To be honest, I’d rather scratch my eyes out then return to that roach infested dump).

We are constantly carving out and perfecting an image of ourselves that we would like others to believe on social media forums. What stories are your Facebook friends creating for you?


3) The frequency of posts

The more someone posts on Facebook, the less mindful they will be of what is really going on in their lives. When someone posts frequently, as in more than five times a day, it suggests someone who is desperate to be seen in a good light. It also suggests that their “real” life is lacking on some level. When someone is truly happy and engrossed in what is going on around them, they are less likely to be constantly posting on Facebook. The one exception to this is when someone is on vacation or at a particular event that is important.

4) The content of the posts

When there are regular posts relating to things like: walking the dogs, eating a meal, doing the gardening or other mundane activities it suggests a lonely person. It also suggests a person that does not feel fulfilled or is possibly in an unhappy relationship where they find it hard to communicate. They look to their Facebook community to connect and bond as there immediate environment is unlikely to be providing this.

Other Facebook users tend to put funny posts or spiritual/meaningful posts on the timelines. These people can either be rather opinionated or they may enjoy the idea of making others happy.


The bottom line is, in relation to our Facebook endeavours, we are all looking for acceptance and validation. Most people enjoy the positive feedback they get when someone “likes” their posts. Positive comments from others are also most welcome. There is no getting away from it, Facebook is the modern way of communicating. It pays to be a critical thinker and to not take everything that you see, and read, on Facebook at face value. Facebook has many benefits and advantages but they should never become a substitute for genuine face-to-face encounters with others.

Mandy X