The social networks give us new cues everyday, technological and esthetic innovations that change our way to interact and engage. New inputs and algorithms drive users to new directions, and our behaviours change as fast as the platforms hosting us. Sociologists, psicologists and communication gurus enjoy to track user profiles but it's difficult to find the way when someone identifies 3 kinds of user and someone else 100. I'm going to show you an illustrated carousel of users who are among my social contacts or that I meet frequently in the various platforms I use to attend.
If you are an active user in social media probably you are looking for agreement, approval or some form of interaction. That’s the reason why we are in those online communities. But the peculiarity of the approval seekers is their anxiety to receive a reply, a like, a feedback. They constantly check feeds and timelines after posting, opening and refreshing pages, having high hopes to be noticed. The professional approval seekers are tritely conformed to trends and popular opinions.
They wish to be the most popular, collecting more likes and followers than their friends. They follow people to be followed, ready to unfollow when they score the goal. Facebook peacocks have a lot of people they don’t know just to increase their audience. They are more envying than envied.
We talked widely about the lurkers here. They post and comment rarely but they are in, always. They read everything in your timeline but you don’t know it. They like to define themselves observers.
Birds of Paradise
They don’t interact, don’t like other people posts, don’t feed. But if they leave to exotic places, eat in some awesome restaurant or partecipate in a great event, you’ll know it for sure. They like to attract attention in their small circle.
They are definitely trolls. Their mission is to fire up any discussion without any reason. They don’t care about the author or the post content and often use a language not politically correct. You can find them anywhere, but YouTube for them is like a wood in the summertime when the mistral is blowing.
They are the paradox of social networks. They are signed in but don’t use the service. They are scared by giving out personal info to strangers. You just know their name, maybe the the date of birth. No profile or other pictures, no info, no post. They’re a member, but not really. They are ghosts.
We already talked about them here. Boaster users who are physically unable to not point out any and every spelling mistake or grammatical error they find on the Internet. They are trolls and their “very nice” mission is to discredit the author, regardless of the content.
They are optimist, passionated, enthusiast of technology. They can’t wait when a new feature or technology is available, they have to be the first to get it. They are the leading machine of the hi-tech market and development.
It’s a very common type of troll to meet on the web. Probably bored and frustrated, they move from victim to victim attacking them without any reason. If you walk on the water, they would say that you can’t swim. They want to wound you and make you feel like you’ve done something to deserve it.
Don’t you have an expert in your contact list? I can’t believe it. Mr. know-it-all is a bloated user that don’t miss the chance to show off his 360° knowledges. In spite of his competences he got a lot of time to spend on social networks and you would ask him: “if you are so erudite, why are you full-time on Facebook?”.
There is only one holy text in the world, it’s almost written by bots and it’s called Wikipedia. They are “sub-experts” who share constantly links to the indisputable pages of wikipedia for supporting their opinions.
The preacher, aka religious troll, is a fundamentalist user who doesn’t miss any chance to reveal “The Truth” to his audience. His timeline is plenty of religious posts and possibly he tries to turn any topic into a theological debate, including parables, verses and quotes. Sometimes what he writes is unintelligible, but you have to know he is consciously cryptic for you, unfaithful users.
About the author
Alessio Massidda is an Internet enthusiast since the web was born. Works in the field of communication by 18 years covering different roles. Today he is a creative director, UI/UX designer, copywriter, interested in marketing and branding. Loves traditional paper books, cinema, music, art and animals.