Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Do Facebook Users Want?

With a grant from the National Institutes of Health, a Boston psychiatrist and psychologist have teamed to answer the question, "Why Do People Use Facebook?"

They reviewed 42 scientific studies of Facebook users and have discovered the following:

  • Healthy people enjoy using Facebook because it improves self-esteem (our shield against feeling like outcasts). Women and members of ethnic minorities use it more than men and Caucasians.
  • Healthy people don't idealize themselves on Facebook, with one big exception: they present themselves as more emotionally stable than, in fact, they are.
  • Narcissists especially enjoy using Facebook, and spend an hour every day in front of the screen. And they love to upload photos, often enhanced with Photoshop.
  • Highly neurotic people share more on Facebook than healthy people. They prefer written posts over photos.
  • Extraverts have more Facebook friends and are more likely to become Facebook addicts.
  • Introverts substitute Facebook use for real-world social interaction. And shy people spend more time on Facebook than people who aren't shy.
  • Good-looking Facebook users are more attractive to other users than plain-looking ones; so are users with good-looking friends.
  • Facebook users with only 100 friends are unattractive to other users; so are users with 300 friends.
Do the findings make you want to delete your Facebook account and find a shrink's sofa? 

They shouldn't. As Freud said, “A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.”
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