13 October 2016
A recent study conducted in the United States indicates that Facebook users who spend more than three hours on daily average on the platform are likely to share personal information and later on regret doing that.
The study revealed that addicted Facebook users who read friends’ updates and share information about themselves become used to the act of posting their information as they read daily about their friends and the world, spurring them to post more about themselves – and to share more during off-line encounters.
The study, published in the New Media and Society Journal, analysed five years’ (2010 – 2015) worth of surveys of 2,789 students (18-to-25-year-olds) in the U.S.
The data showed that heavier users of Facebook, defined as being on a social network for more than the sample average of 3.17 hours a day, had more relaxed privacy attitudes and were more likely to share personal information.
While the outcome of the survey may be subjected to criticism and further interrogations based on some factors not considered in the course of the study, there is no gainsaying the fact that social media has become a part of human life, hence has gotten most users addicted.
It was reported at the end of second quarter of 2016 that Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users. That means Facebook is so prevalent in the world and there is a possibility that if one throws a stone in a marketplace, it will probably hit a Facebook user.
Being the largest and the most popular social networking site, it is a platform where most social media discussions are taking place. One of the reasons it was picked to gather questions for the U.S. presidential debates.
Unlike some networking sites with character count rules, Facebook gives users the benefit to type more and engage in discussions that require long typing. A user who wants to share personal information will not be restricted by any character limit rule as obtainable on Twitter.
Facebook has many features that can aid conversations. One of them is the Automatic Friendship Videos. These algorithm-based videos showcase memories from your various friendships that you can share with anyone on your feed.
Interestingly, Facebook brings Friends Videos to your newsfeed and you can watch and download them. This is one interesting feature that will get users caught unawares after divulging information that others do not need to see.
Facebook has a perfect reminder. Users can see their previous posts through the ‘on this day’ feature. The newsfeed works in a dynamic way that allows users to see posts from where they left off.
Facebook reminds users of birthdays and events unlike most networking sites. All these can bring back memories and more personal information will be shared.
The data collected for the survey is limited but Facebook has put a lot into itself that makes the platform have more addicted users. With or without the survey, social media is another marketplace where personal information are shared and Facebook leads in that way.
Whether it is right to divulge some information meant to be private and secret on social media networking sites is left with what a user thinks about it.
Author: Timilehin Boyinde
Oluwatimilehin Boyinde is a research writer and a social media strategist. A public affairs analyst, he writes about history, politics, sports, life matters and technology. He is passionate about happenings in Local and international political arenas. He is an avid Manchester United fan and an unapologetic Nigerian.