Social media voyeurs and exhibitionists take over the Internet

By Christina Fazio

Comment Staff

Facebook is a popular social media site used to update the world about oneself and "creep" on other users. English106 on Flickr.
Facebook is a popular social media site used to update the world about oneself and “creep” on other users. English106 on Flickr.

Why do you engage in social networking and use social media websites? Whatever your response is, it may reflect one of two online personality types that exist in the realms of cyberspace, the social media voyeur or the social media exhibitionist.

In semi-relation to the psychological definition of a voyeur, the social media voyeur is the one who lurks in the shadows and uses social media as a means of peering into the lives of others.

You got it. The social media voyeurs are those who have been otherwise known as creeps. If you spend the majority of your time on these sites, analyzing the content posted by others, including bios, photos, statuses or tweets, you my friend are a social media voyeur.

The social media voyeur is the one who goes online to get the scoop on what’s going on with everyone else. Often these people will scroll through their news feed for hours, or you might find them following the Twitter accounts of multiple celebrities.

You can easily spot a social media voyeur by recognizing their online behavior patterns. If you have an online friend or follower who you notice likes other users’ statuses, tweets and photos, yet rarely do you see them posting or sharing any of their own content, you have for sure spotted a social media voyeur.

For those of us who don’t spend all of our online time keeping tabs on others, you can most likely identify as a social media exhibitionist.

Similar to the psychological description of an exhibitionist, the social media exhibitionist is the one who bares all on a social media platform. If you find yourself constantly sharing information regarding yourself, and post dozens of selfies wearing the same outfit, you adequately fulfill the profile of a social media exhibitionist.

This online personality type is the easiest to spot because they are the ones jumping out at you as soon as you log on. These are the people who post trivial statuses, such as “showering, going to the gym and then going to work 9-5,” or the people always posting photos of their cousin’s coworker’s sister’s baby.

Those who post statuses just because, and have essentially failed to resist the temptation of needing to expose themselves meet criteria for a social media exhibitionist. .

Those who take pleasure in airing out their dirty laundry online, such as those who expose their personal problems like relationship drama online, are class act social media exhibitionists, because their actions are fueled by the thought of getting feedback, opinions or support from others.

The purpose of this article isn’t to point fingers at who is doing what, because lets face it, we are all guilty in engaging in these types of behavior at one point or another. The message is, however, to be conscious of the personality type your online behavior supports.

Do you really want to be that person clogging everyone’s news feed with superfluous content? Or, are you content with creeping in the shadows and living vicariously through the lives of others?

Christina Fazio is a Comment opinion writer. Email her at cfazio@student.bridgew.edu.

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