Facebook Frenzy: A Glimpse into How Social Media Affects Us, or Doesn’t

Obviously there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use Facebook, but surely there are things we all do on a daily basis, maybe even subconsciously, that are making our social media experiences less enjoyable than they could be. Or maybe you are one of those people who isn’t affected by social media in any way, it is merely a tool you sometimes use to contact people, but mostly avoid.

The Facebook survey results were interesting. They were exactly how I though they’d be, and at the same time, nothing like I expected. It was all very enlightening. Here are a few snip-its from questions I felt brought some good insight as to how people experience Facebook:

While all answers are given in percentages, some may not add up to exactly 100% because on some questions, people were allowed to select more than one answer. In parts, I also rounded to the whole number to allow for easier reading. 

How often do you log on to Facebook?

how often

 

58.33% several times per day
16.67% every day
16.67% at least once per hour
8.33% a few times a week, whenever I have time
0% once a week or so

When scrolling through your Facebook news feed, how do you feel most often:

feel

 

So most people feel positive emotions and feelings when going through their Facebook news feeds, as it should be! Except it seems many are also “mildly annoyed” when getting on Facebook.

Do you think Facebook has impacted the authenticity of any of your personal relationships?

47.22% say yes
43.06% say no
9.72% say I’m not sure

Some insightful comments:

  • It extends relationships that otherwise would likely be over
  • Recognizing that posts are very open, I try to hold to a personal rule that I will not say anything on FB that I would not say on a crowded elevator. I also avoid political debates — I doubt anyone has ever changed their position based on a FB posting. FB should be used as a way to encourage and show empathy when needed. I do not “like” rude, cruel, or mean statements — even if I agree with them.
  • I connect with more people face to face, because communication is easier through Facebook
  • Sometimes people assume they know me better than they do because they follow my blog or my fb page. They don’t get there’s a lot more me to that.
  • FB weeds out the acquaintances from the true friends, although the acquaintances may think they’re actually true friends of yours.
  • I end up not liking people I barely know
  • I connect with more people face to face, because communication is easier through Facebook

In what way has Facebook negatively affected your life and relationships?

(Read ALL the answers here)

  • Husband doesn’t like how much time I spend on facebook
  • I can see what kinds of things my friends are doing to which I haven’t been extended an invitation.
  • Facebook has NOT affected my life or relationships in a negative manner.
  • You judge from a distance
  • If no one comments on things I post, it makes me feel unwanted. I also dislike it when people argue with me or other ppl who have commented on my posts.
  • It has caused friendships to fall-through simply because we stopped talking/texting once we became facebook friends.
  • I’ve noticed some people are more likely to bully behind a computer. Also, I now know how many feel about certain hot issues and that sometimes makes me like them less.
  • Less interaction because friends will post things and assume I saw it, so they won’t tell me about happenings in their lives

In what way has Facebook positively affected your life and relationships?

(Read ALL the answers here)

  • Keep in touch with family and close friends! Love to see pictures and funny/inspiring articles. Just watched my granddaughter take her first steps last night on facebook — doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂
  • Met my boyfriend..love of my life
  • Allows me to keep in touch with old friends all over the country with whom I otherwise wouldn’t be in contact.
  • Can’t say that it has.
  • Some people’s stories or positive attitudes are just what I need to see that day to being myself up
  • I have friends on Fbook that I will never meet in person, but they are kind and funny, and encourage and inspire me.
  • I am isolated at home with four small kids. In many ways, some fb conversations are the only ones I have all day. Plus it’s a great venue to “laugh with” others about my kids daily antics
  • I have become friends with people that I never thought I would’ve been friends with years ago. I have also found a lot of support in tough times.
  • hmmmmmmmmm…. well, it lets me vent and lets me beg for attention when I need it. Crowdsourcing, for sure- as I’m not too great with decision making. At least, I get to ask 900 of my closest friends their opinion before committing to anything (you know, important stuff like “what’s for supper”) amongst other things. Okay this comment made me laugh really hard. I’m not sure if it is someone who was “trolling” this question, or someone who is just painfully honest. Either way, thanks for the laugh. 

 Because of Facebook, I:

36.84% make more of an effort to call, connect with, and visit friends and family
63.16% make less of an effort to reach out to my friends and family. I can see what is going on in their lives and probably don’t connect with them individually as much as I used to

I sometimes miss the days before Facebook

50% said yes
50% said no

52% of people have considered deactiving their Facebook accounts
47.89% say they would never deactivate, it’s how they stay connected! 

To view the detailed and full survey results, click this link that will open a PDF: Facebook Survey. There are a lot of really great answers and input that might make you reevaluate the way you use Facebook and interact with your loved ones…or not so loved ones.

When creating the Facebook survey, there were three main questions I wanted to explore:

  1. Does the number of Facebook friends a person has influence their happiness and satisfaction with Facebook?
  2. Does somebody’s personality type (introverted vs extroverted) influence their happiness and satisfaction with Facebook?
  3. Does the amount that a person uses/logs on to Facebook influence their happiness and satisfaction?

RESULTS: 

1. Yes and no. (click chart to enlarge)
number of friends

I poured over these results for awhile and thought they were interesting…and slightly confusing. It seemed that at times, the number of friends definitely influenced peoples’ experiences with Facebook, and then other times not at all. Overall though, I felt the data showed that the least happy group of people were those with between 301 and 600 friends. The group that appears happiest is those with between 601 and 900 friends, regardless of the fact that 91% of them feel like many of their friends are completely different on Facebook than they are in real life. Weird.

I am interested in why the 301-600 group seems to be the least happy, while the over 900 group appears happiest, right after the group with 0-50 friends! Talk about a big jump. A friend of mine, who falls into the over 900 category, said it makes complete sense to him. He said that he actually felt happier when he started getting more and more friends because it took the pressure off of staying so engaged and involved with his Facebook friends. When he was between 300 and 600, he felt inclined to get on and look sift through all of his news feed, catch up on everyone’s lives because it was just enough to feel that need. Now with over 900 friends, he mainly just uses Facebook to stay in touch with those he otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and when he wants to see a friend’s updates, he will specifically search them out and see what they are up to. What do YOU think? How do you interpret the above data? 

2. The differences in this comparison are slight, but introverts do have a less satisfying and enjoyable experience on Facebook. Extroverts feel closer to friends and family because of Facebook, and feel less inclined to deactivate their accounts. Also interesting, check out the top 5 feelings (in order) when perusing the News Feed:

chart
3. The results for this part were not quite as surprising. It seems that the people who enjoy Facebook the least also get on the least, not a shocker. The one thing I did find interesting was that the more people use Facebook, the more they feel relationship authenticity is affected, however it doesn’t make them any less satisfied when scrolling through their news feeds, or interacting with friends and family on Facebook.
use comparison
How to make Facebook more enjoyable and satisfying based on your feedback:
  • stop posting tons of pictures and recipes, every now and then is okay but several times a day is probably overkill. Might I suggest www.pinterest.com
  • don’t use Facebook to climb way up onto your soapbox and put others down (that’s what blogs are for!) 😉
  • use Facebook as a remembrance tool, not a replacement. Meaning, see that it’s your friends birthday or anniversary and call him or her, don’t just write the generic “happy bday” on the timeline and move on. Go deeper! Converse! Connect in more ways than a chat window or a photo comment!
  • stop using Facebook at meals or when conversing with friends and family. It’s rude, and makes them feel unimportant
  • don’t post something if you wouldn’t be okay with everyone and their mothers seeing it. Because there is a good chance they will, even if you’re not friends with them
  • don’t take it too seriously
All of this data can be interpreted in many different ways, and I’d love to hear your input! Why did you answer the way you did on the survey? Why do you think the data in the full survey or the specific analysis I’ve done above does or doesn’t make sense? Are you surprised by anything?
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3 thoughts on “Facebook Frenzy: A Glimpse into How Social Media Affects Us, or Doesn’t

  1. This is wonderful, Courtney! We should work this into a HuffingtonPost. Happy Easter and happy new house. Keep me posted. Love you, Brenda

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. This was a very insightful post!
    I thoroughly enjoy my time on Facebook probably because I am subscribed to certain people that I want to stay connected with (whenever Charlotte posts a new photo of one of the kids I get a notification for example) and other than that I will sort of scroll through my newsfeed when bored. I tend to ignore all political conversations, and enjoy seeing the different funny videos and articles that are posted by my friends. I currently have just under 900 friends, I have thought about deactivating my account but never have, and I am an introvert.
    This helps me see how others can get so annoyed with Facebook, I think if I read every post each “friend” posted, I would immediately deactivate my account.

  3. Fascinating. I can’t believe how much work went into this? You really must like to research. You need to get this one on one of those blogs like Thought Catalog or the New York Times?

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