A study on how people use social networking websites such as Facebook confirms what many of us suspected. Women who post loads of photos of themselves on their sites are conveying some strong personal characteristics, according to new research. These women are more likely to base their self-worth on appearance and use social networking to compete for attention.
The study involved 311 men and women with an average age of 23. In order to better understand aspects of social networking behavior, the researchers looked at the amount of time subjects spent managing profiles, the number of photos they shared, the size of their online networks and how promiscuous they were in terms of “friending” behavior. The participants completed a questionnaire designed to measure self worth and were asked about their typical behaviors on Facebook.
There were differences between women and men. Overall, the results suggest that, compared with men, females identify more strongly with their image and appearance and use Facebook to compete for attention, said the lead author of the study, Michael A. Stefanone, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Buffalo.
The women who had the largest social networks and posted more photos of themselves were more highly vested in their appearance.