What does my Facebook say about me?

8 Jul

I’ve been writing a lot about what does your e-mail address say about you, about controlling your online identity and personal brand, and about knowing the importance of what the internet has to say about you.  So, now is time to see what the internet has to say about me.  Specially, in this case, what my Facebook profile says about me.

Maggie O'Toole

This is my current Facebook profile picture.

In my last post, I mentioned Facebook’s Download Your Profile tool.  Of course, I had to try it.  Initial reaction: it’s not very user friendly.  For security purposes, you have to jump through a lot of hoops.  But, I’m glad of that – I don’t want just anyone to be able to download a file that’s an easily searchable record of everything I’ve ever said/done on Facebook.  (Nothing too bad, mind you, but let’s just say that I didn’t understand about personal branding and reputation management in college.)

After jumping through the hoops to download my profile, I received a zipped folder comprised of html files for each type of information that I had posted on Facebook: newsfeed, pictures, etc.  I was hoping that it would all be in an easy to use document that I could run though some filters to come up with some stats about my Facebook usage.  (I was hoping for my very own Facebook infographic like the LinkedIn ones that I wrote about a few weeks ago.)  Alas, the Download Your Profile tool isn’t that user-friendly.  So, I decided just to look at the Newsfeed page, as that’s where most of the text goes anyway.

Man eating a baby sandwich

This is my favorite profile picture ever. It's also the only one that I'm not in. Hmmm. (I hope that) No babies were hurt in the making of this image.

Thankfully, I’m getting quite good at Excel.  (I’m spending so much time on it at work now.  True story: today I realized that it was probably time to go home when I caught myself singing the ABC song as I was going through columns trying to figure out where my formulas had gone wrong.  Nested logic arguments and I were not getting along.)  Anyway, using my not-so-formidable Excel skills, I was able to manipulate the data (in a way that I’m sure would horrify a statistician), to find out some pretty cool things about myself.  (Or at least about the me that I show to the world through Facebook.  Cause, you know, according to my profile pictures, I’m always smiling – I assure you that’s not always the case in real life.)

Word cloud of my Facebook posts

This is a word cloud generated from words in my status updates and posts. Apparently I talk about work a lot more than I realize.

So about the data, I pulled out the date references and divided the content up into things that I had posted and things that other people had posted/things that came through apps.  (Anything that started with “Maggie O’Toole” – as in “Maggie O’Toole is amused that the children visiting the office for the day seem to think that she is also a child visiting the office for the day,” went on one spreadsheet, everything else went on another.)  Then I pulled out the text from both sheets and ran them through the word cloud creator at Wordle.

So, here are some of the things that I learned:

  • I seriously overuse the word seriously.
  • Same goes for like, but I wonder how many time it’s pulling that off of “Maggie  O’Toole likes this”.  (I am a very easy to please liker.)
  • Lots of people wish me happy birthday.
  • I pimp my blog though my Facebook profile.
Word Cloud Based on Friends Facebook Comments/Posts

This is a word cloud of the things that other people/apps have posted on my wall. I'm guessing that a lot of them start with "Maggie!" or "Hey Maggie"

None of these things came as a surprise.  I’m guilty on all accounts.  Pretending that I had the time to create an infographic based on all this information, here are some of the numbers that you’d see:

  • Maximum number of people to have liked one of my posts: 9
  • First post ever written on my wall: No one has said anything on your wall so I will. You are pretty cool. I think you are pretty much going to be the first female president. I will vote for you. Go do it.
  • Most recent post written on my wall: Have you read “A Whiter Shade of Pale”? He’s got domain name comments, too.
  • Month with most Facebook activity: May
  • Year I joined Facebook: 2005
Family Tree Cake

A picture of my family on a cake -- pretty much encapsulates the pictures that I post on Facebook.

Of course there are some things that it didn’t tell me.  (I believe) Download your data is limited to information that is posted in public areas, although not necessarily shared with everyone (walls, pictures, etc.  Thankfully it didn’t tell me about my stalking/poking habits.  If it did, I probably would have received black and white evidence of what I already know.

  • I will drop whatever I’m doing to look at baby pictures whenever Lauren posts them.
  • Alex and I have poked each other over 100 times.
  • I will look at your wedding pictures even if I’ve never met you.
  • Most of my pictures are of my family or my cakes.
  • I will follow any link to the Daily Mail that shows up on my newsfeed, no matter what the topic.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia… So, what does my Facebook profile say about you?  Well, if you’re Bethan, Olivia, my Aunt Eileen, of if your last name is Romberg or Meehan, it means that I talk to you a lot (or at least have at one point over the past few years).  Anyone else, you should stop by and visit more often!

Group on Gower Peninsula in Wales

I can follow my whole study abroad experience through my Facebook information and can see the exact turning point in the trip where we all got over being awkward kids who didn't know each other and got to be friends.

I don’t really know what else I’ll do with the data now that I have it, but I’m glad that I don’t loaded it and looked through it.  It was a strange and nostalgic, but fun experience.  Some of the people who wrote on my wall have since died.  Others have come into my life since I’ve joined Facebook and you can see the progress of our relationships through my newsfeed.  Starting with very polite “it was so great to see you” type comments and ending with inside jokes and lots of pictures together.

Want to know what your Facebook has to say about you?  Go to Account/Account Settings/Download Your Information.  As I said, it’s a long process.  I think it took me about 24 hours for the security to go through and for the data to be prepared for download.  I’d love to hear about it.

Questions of the day: Did you download your information and learn way too much about yourself?  Are you also an easy liker?


MaggieCakes is a blog about social media, marketing, culture, and what’s new on the internet written by me, Maggie O’Toole.  Every day (okay, I try for every day) I comb blogs and news outlets for the news about Internet culture and social media to bring them to you (with my commentary, of course) here on MaggieCakes. Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at 2maggieotoole@gmail.com.

One Response to “What does my Facebook say about me?”

  1. georgettesullins July 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Once again…good information. I will “share” on my fb.

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