In the UK, Facebook and other social media users are more concerned about how they appear to other users in their personal profile than they are about making their posts appear intelligent.

These concerns, identified in a survey carried out by Mintel, contrasted strongly with those found among social media users in other European countries and the Middle East – where, in both regions, coming across as intelligent in posts was deemed to be of greater value than being photogenic or capable of creating an impressive profile.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of social media users in the UK said that their first priority when using a site was to ensure that profile photographs and descriptions of themselves appeared as flattering as possible.

The survey found that for females, this translated into taking care to upload their best photograph – while for males, an impressive profile was deemed to be one which emphasised their bravery and intelligence.

By contrast, coming across as intelligent in posts was found to be the biggest priority for 61 per cent of users in the rest of Europe and the Middle East.

When asked why they were so concerned with conjuring up a positive image of themselves, 51 per cent of female and 40 per cent of male respondents said it was to make themselves appear more attractive or interesting to potential friends or love matches.

However, while trying desperately to dress up their own self-image, 48 per cent of respondents said they easily recognised when any social media posting appeared to exaggerate the profile of other users.