We all have at least one of them.  The oversharing Facebook friend who fills up your feed with constant posts, pictures, links, and inevitably --- drama.  It may be tempting to simply ignore these types of friends, but before you hit that 'hide,' button, you may find it useful to know what is really going on with your friend.

In a new study, researchers looked at the quantity of posts that people shared on Facebook as well as the reasoning behind the information that they posted.  They looked specifically at Facebook because unlike other social media sites - such as Twitter or Tumblr where most interactions take place between strangers - the interactions on Facebook generally occur among 'friends.'  

One interesting point that researchers noted is that people who feel like they can be their 'true selves' online are often the same ones who have difficulty expressing themselves in relationships offline.  For example, someone who fumbles with finding the right things to say in social situations may have a hard time making conversation at parties or face-to-face functions.  But those same people may do great when they have a chance to think about - and even edit - their responses when they are behind a screen.  It's no wonder then that these folks are the same ones who make close Internet friends. And in turn, it's also no surprise that these folks feel most comfortable about expressing their 'true-selves' via Facebook - dirty laundry and all.

Oversharers just want to feel like they belong, researchers found.  And in the absence of real-life connections, they throw out anything and everything online in the hopes of fitting in.  But the problem is that researchers also found that oversharers tend to get fewer posts and comments from others in return.  It seems that the more they reach out, the more they turn off the very people they are trying to connect with.

So does that mean you should get drawn in to all of that drama?  No way.  But when you know the reasons behind all of that oversharing, it may make you more inclined to reach out to those friends offline and help them connect in ways you can both feel comfortable with.

via: The Atlantic

Related posts on MNN:

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.