Facebook is a massive social network with 2 billion people using the service every month.
For some, it is a tool for connecting with far-off relatives and friends while others use it is a way to show off their creative abilities, like pretty nail arts or aesthetics of photography. Some of us even use it to stay current with the news and the world.
According to a research paper published in International Journal of Virtual Communities and Social Networking, Facebook users fall into 4 broad categories:
- Relationship builders
- Window shoppers
- Town criers
These four categories emerged from a survey that asked subjects to respond to a list of 48 statements like,
- “Facebook is a source of stress, and it depresses me”
- “Facebook is an instant way to ask for help or something I need from people.”
- And many more.
So what are these four types of Facebook users and which category do you belong to? Read on to find out.
For these users, Facebook is a medium to connect with their loved ones not just a virtual social society.
Relationship builders frequently post and share on Facebook and engage themselves in conversation with their friends. This category also comments on the posts, pictures and videos shared by their friends and family and uses Facebook as a means to enhance connectivity and strengthen relationships.
A user from this category was interviewed after the survey and she said that she didn’t call her family often so ‘Facebook was an easy way to say ‘hi’ and share a bit of love.’
These people are the ones who use Facebook due to their sense of social obligation but rarely post their information on it.
This category uses Facebook as a means to look into the profiles of someone they like *cough* stalkers *cough* and to be aware of their likes and relationship status. Clark Callahan, one of the paper’s co-authors, called Facebook window shopping as the social-media equivalent of people watching.
Window shoppers barely post status updates, pictures or videos on Facebook. They also prefer not to comment or like posts from others. A “window shopper” said that Facebook was not a place to “post things about myself or just about my daily life, or what I did on Saturday—because I think people who want to know me will be around doing it with me.”
These are the people like social media activitists, professional journalists, social workers, and event organizers who broadcast information on Facebook which they want to share openly with their close and distant connections.
Unlike relationship builders, their social media life is different from their real lives and they do not care if anyone likes or comments on their posts or not.
These people post ‘little to no information’ about their personal lives on Facebook. However, if does not mean that they have no social lives rather they would use a phone to call or message their contacts instead of using Facebook.
The last but not the least, is the selfie group whom, for both the good and the bad, we are very familiar with.
Selfies use Facebook similarly to the to the relationship builders — updating their social media page by posting pictures and videos — but they do it primarily to seek attention, claim the researchers.
Revitalized by the likes and comments, the selfies agreed with statements like: “The more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers.”
Speaking in a study interview, one “selfie” explained that:
“Taking a picture and letting it sit on my phone makes it nothing and useless, but once I post something on Facebook, it shows I’ve done something.”
The study also found that selfies were found to be least bothered by the accuracy of their self that they presented online.
What category do you belong to? Share in the comments section.