Which Of These Four Types Of Internet User Are You?

Recent research shows that all social media users can be placed into one of four categories – the Geek, the Lurker, the Victim or the Internet Celebrity. Which one are you?

This research, conducted by University of Sussex academics, consisted of running interviews with your social media users aged between 10 and 15-years-old, and putting them into one of these four categories based on their levels of online activity and visibility.

All of these results have been published in a new book – Researching Everyday Childhoods, which was launched today.

Before diving into the categories, some other findings from the research… Turns out when it comes to online privacy, old people don’t have that much to worry about.

"Our research found that concerns about staying safe online created an atmosphere of intense anxiety for young people, even if they had not directly experienced any problems themselves,” Dr Liam Berriman, lecturer in digital humanities at the University of Sussex said. “The young people we spoke to felt a great weight of responsibility for their safety online and were often motivated by the concern of being labelled a victim."

Teens seem to walk this fine line between seeking recognition and fame online, and the anxiety of opening themselves up to trolling and criticism. But while this research was conducted exclusively on this age group, I know I definitely fit into one of these four groups and so does practically every single person who has ever come into contact with a social network.

And what are the four? Good question... Scroll down and find out.


The Lurker

Keen to avoid peer dramas and the airing of dirty laundry on social media, the Lurker avoids actively engaging on platforms – favouring (you guessed it) lurking on their friends, family or favourite bands/celebrities/etc.

The Geek

This category isn’t as obvious based upon the name. The Geek isn’t the full-time gamer, or the comic book obsessive. More general than that, the Geek takes advantage of the anonymity they can achieve online to actively create and promote content online – such as fan fiction or music videos.

Researchers explain how a Geek’s long hours of love and labour on their projects risked their parents getting worried about potential obsessive behaviour.

The Victim

A bit more self-explanatory, this category of social media users have been burnt before by the risks of personal visibility – suffering personal exposure and shame after creating & sharing intimate material such as sexting.

The high visibility of a victim is usually out of their control, no matter how careful they get. The extent of this lack of control varies from the general frustration of being tagged in an unflattering photo, to the more invasive techniques such as fraping or sharing of intimate pictures meant just for the sender.

Internet Celebrity

Yet another obvious one – this is the savvy social media user who best utilises the latest trends and increases their visibility as the centre of online conversation.

They value the “visibility of the self” highly through Snapchat, selfies, Instagram usage and YouTube vlogging, usually at the sacrifice of their own self-confidence by basing their own self-worth on statistics.

Which of these are you?

If you’ve known me in any way over the past 6 ½ years of writing this blog, you probably already guessed I lie somewhere between geek and internet celebrity. New Rising Media has been an obsessive passion of mine, as has been obvious to my friends and family.

Let me know which personality you are in the comments!