Five Labs Review: What Does Your Facebook Say About You?
We undoubtedly live in the age of information. If you are anything like me, you live your life on at least two social media channels, the primary one likely to be Facebook. The social network has now become such an integral part of our millennial lifestyle that it is now considered unusual not to have an account on the website. It is only human to share experiences and as we continue to publish our lives on the Internet it may be important to take the time to self-reflect. What does your Facebook actually say about you?
Fortunately, Five Labs makes it possible to do just that. The website mysteriously claims that it “analyses your Facebook posts to predict the personalities of you and your friends”. It has been lauded by Business Insider for having “ground-breaking results“, and USA Today also claims suggests that this may be “one of the best ways to learn about human psychology“. Wired UK also praises Five Labs for providing “unprecedented insight into the link between language and personality“.
How? By examining the language that we use on Facebook to determine the levels of five personality traits; agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extroversion and openness. Using a powerful artificial intelligence engine the algorithm pulls key words to predict accurate estimates about your personality. The method is based on the University of Pennsylvania’s World Well-Being Project that aimed to study how the intricacies of our online language define our age, gender and level of extroversion.
For the sake of science, I decided to put my Facebook profile to the test. I took a deep breath, told myself to treat the results with a certain degree of scepticism and clicked on the ‘analyse my posts’ button. After a few seconds, the landing page redirects you to a five-point graph with percentages according to the five personality traits.
The graph provided some interesting, but perhaps vague insight. Five Labs summarised my personality with five descriptors at the top of the graph, and states that it has analysed 2,847 words from my Facebook posts. I would have loved to know more information about the chosen words, but unfortunately this information was not disclosed.
More details are provided if you click on the separate percentages, for example, it states that my level of ‘openness’ is 87%, which apparently “reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has”. One of the interesting features the service provides is the ability to compare your graph with that of your Facebook friends. It was definitely interesting to see how my best friend and I lined up, because we are apparently 80% similar.
You can even compare your graph to that of selected famous public figures. I am apparently 75% similar to Jennifer Lawrence. I’ll definitely take that.
Ultimately, Five Labs’ personality experiment is just a good bit of fun. Like most personality tests, whether it is the Myers-Briggs test or a BuzzFeed quiz, the results are what you make of them. Whether you choose to be defined by an algorithm or go your own way is completely up to you!
Have you tried out Five Labs yet?