It’s official: We’re all Facebook-obsessed. With its 1.28 billion users daily, the site has undoubteldy captured all our attentions. In fact, we simply can’t stop refreshing our feeds—whether it's to catch up on the news, see the latest memes, or chuckle at photos of our friend’s toddler getting into mischief.
So, why do we invest so much time (35 minutes a day, on average) into the social media site? Well, a research team from Bringham Young University set out to discover just that.
They came up with 48 statements that identified potential reasons for people to use Facebook. Participants were then asked to rank the statements according to how much they related to each one. From this, they found that we can all be divided into four very distinct groups.
Relationship builders. If you’re the first to comment on your co-worker’s status, or you count down the days until your best friend’s birthday so you can post a lengthy tribute on his or her wall, then this could be you.
Relationship builders use the platform as “an extension of their real life, with their family and real-life friends,” said lead author Tom Robinson. “People in this group identified strongly with such statements as 'Facebook helps me to express love to my family and lets my family express love to me.'"
Selfies. The word alone serves as a pretty good explanation for this particular bunch. Unlike relationship builders, who use their correspondence as a means to maintain connection with loved ones, selfies instead use photos to get attention through comments and likes.
Those who identified in this category strongly related to the statement: “The more ‘like’ notification alarms I receive, the more I feel approved by my peers." Study co-author Kris Boyle said that selfies use the platform "to present an image of themselves, whether it’s accurate or not."
Window shoppers. You barely post any photos, statuses, or videos of your own, but you’re very happy to observe everyone else on their own Facebook endeavors, thank you very much.
If you’re a window shopper, you likely “want to see what other people are doing."
"It's the social-media equivalent of people watching,” said co-author Clark Callahan.
This lot related most to the statement: “I can freely look at the Facebook profile of someone I have a crush on and know their interests and relationship status.”
Town criers. As the name alone suggests, a town crier has a lot to say and will utilize Facebook’s many features to make his or her voice heard.
This group “wants to inform everybody about what’s going on,” whether by sharing photos, statuses, videos, or even personal information, though they’ll often opt to keep correspondence with friends and family off the platform.
So, which group do you fall into?
This post was written by Katie Skelly. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.