Next time you notice endless snaps posted on Facebook by that woman in your life, you may want to spare a thought for her self-esteem before slipping into Facebook envy. It turns out her posts could just be an attempt to boost her self worth.
In a study out of the University of Buffalo, professor Michael Stefanone examined how gender stereotypes–like women valuing themselves based on appearances and men on achievements– played out online. To determine social media behaviors based on gender, his team asked 311 participants to fill out a questionnaire that examined their contingencies of self worth as well as what their typical behaviors were on Facebook.
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Not only did the study show that women identify more strongly with their image and appearance, but the findings also suggested that this image-conscious view was linked with their activity on Facebook. Women shared five times as many photos, had larger social networks and spent more time on Facebook than males. Those who sought approval based on how others’ viewed them had a much more active social media profile, particularly when it came to photos.
Although the results are far from surprising, they confirm what we probably already knew: gender stereotypes spill over from reality to virtual life. So the next time you spot one of your female friends annoyingly posting yet another batch of overly flattering self portraits on Facebook, why not share this YouTube link explaining the findings of this study? It might not change their attention-seeking behavior, but that’s why there’s always the defriend button. (Via The Atlantic)
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