Facebook Users' Oversharing of Information Can Indicate Loneliness

Facebook Users' Oversharing of Information Can Indicate Loneliness

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Facebook users who identified as lonely more often disclosed their private information.

Researchers at Charles Sturt University published a study that concludes Facebook users experiencing loneliness are more likely to share personal information publicly and spend more general time on the social networking site.

Yeslam Al-Saggaf and Sharon Nielsen's study, "Self-disclosure on Facebook among female users and its relationship to feelings of loneliness" collected data from 616 female Facebook users at least 18 years old. These 616 women were found through the now shut down Facebook status search engine called YourOpenBook, searching through publically available statuses that mentioned either feeling "lonely" or "connected." Half of the women, exactly 308 people, were selected as "connected" while the other 308 were selected as "lonely."

Al-Saggaf and Nielsen examined the privacy settings of both groups and found that 79 percent of the people identified as lonely made available their public information, including favorite activities, quotations, movies, books, TV shows, language(s) spoken, address, and "about me" section, and nearly 98 percent of people in the "lonely" group shared their relationship status publicly. However, this doesn't mean the "connected" people didn't share personal information publically. About 64 percent of the "connected" made this information public. They were instead more likely to make their political and religious views public, as well as their content posted on others' Facebook walls.

Al-Saggaf finds this observation unsurprising. "It makes sense that the people who felt lonely would disclose this type of information," he said. "They want to make it easier for others to initiate contact with them, which may help them overcome their feelings of loneliness."

Social media make it easier to get in touch with old friends and maintain contact with friends across the world. Unfortunately, this communication cannot prevent loneliness for everyone.

Source: ScienceDirect via MarketWatch

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Also discovered: the sun shines, birds sing, and bother, I hurt people (boink)

Source is acting weird, what are they planning on DOING with this info?

MCerberus:
Also discovered: the sun shines, birds sing, and bother, I hurt people (boink)

Source is acting weird, what are they planning on DOING with this info?

A chair is for sitting, people need oxygen and smoking is bad for you. I like this game of stating the bloody obvious. Nice topic charles states university. Who's next?

iseko:

MCerberus:
Also discovered: the sun shines, birds sing, and bother, I hurt people (boink)

Source is acting weird, what are they planning on DOING with this info?

A chair is for sitting, people need oxygen and smoking is bad for you. I like this game of stating the bloody obvious. Nice topic charles states university. Who's next?

I hear next they're intending to see if grass is green, whether or not there are any biological differences between men and women, and they also intend to do a survey to find out if dropping a bowling ball on your bare foot will hurt.

Seriously though, it seems that the people who performed this study have just recently discovered "Attention Whore's". You mean to tell me that people that post ridiculous pictures of themselves doing ridiculously stupid things - and refuse to shut up about how awesome doing said ridiculously stupid things was - as if anyone actually cared are lonely? Wow. You're blowing my frickin' mind with that...

Hmmm well I think that a lot of people that use facebook don't realize they use it because they're lonely. My entire family (except me) uses it and I'm pretty sure they don't realize this.

Oh. I don't mean to rain on your parade of all-knowingness though. Have fun. Enjoy yourselves. By all means. Continue.

Huh. By this logic, I must be the most un-lonely person in existence, seeing as I haven't updated my facebook profile in over a decade now.

Agayek:
Huh. By this logic, I must be the most un-lonely person in existence, seeing as I haven't updated my facebook profile in over a decade now.

Sorry, that title goes to me. I'm so un-lonely I've never added a friend to facebook.

OT: So lonely people reach out to try and be less lonely?

Speaking as someone who just did a systematic review on Facebook and the relationship between use and certain personality traits, I'd exercise caution in interpreting any studies like this.

Even stuff that seems obvious like "Higher amount of use = more narcissism" is extremely contentious.

Agayek:
Huh. By this logic, I must be the most un-lonely person in existence, seeing as I haven't updated my facebook profile in over a decade now.

FoolKiller:

Agayek:
Huh. By this logic, I must be the most un-lonely person in existence, seeing as I haven't updated my facebook profile in over a decade now.

Sorry, that title goes to me. I'm so un-lonely I've never added a friend to facebook.

OT: So lonely people reach out to try and be less lonely?

You're both wrong. I hate Facebook and therefore do not have an account on it.

OT: So, water in the ocean, eh? Who'd have thought? Could we set up a system now where people actually TALK to one another instead of slapdashing something on a board and running away? Oh wait. I think I got it. I'll invent the Telephone by going back and pretending to be Alaxander Graham Bell, and then you can shower me with praise when I get back.

I love how they didn't bother research men, since men are more prone to well.... suicidal tendencies from loneliness/depression. Either way, seems like a waste of research resources.

alternate explanation: people who have more friends have a greater interest in hiding their information based on who is in their inner circle, while people with few friends don't have to hide their information from the few people that they trust anyway

your move, smart guy

It's why I got rid of my Facebook. Nothing is more disheartening to realize that nobody cares. I mean when getting a notification is the highlight of your day (a notification that wasn't a Farmville invite) then it's probably a sign that Facebook isn't healthy for you.

Or, perhaps, they just dont care about the information they share? you know, some people dont consider it a state secret worthy of secret agent to hide their real name.

iseko:
A chair is for sitting, people need oxygen and smoking is bad for you. I like this game of stating the bloody obvious. Nice topic charles states university. Who's next?

ironically, 100 years ago the "Bloody obvious" was that smoking actually were healthy and even increased respitory functions. it took some brave scientists from government health organization to dare speak out that smoking may actually be harmful in the 50s. they were made fun of in the media for years till we evnetually learned. and then there was couple decades of "Smoking is cool" still.

so bloody obviuos does not necessarely mean actually true.

Lonely? I dunno, but there's been an increasing amount of people seeking attention with all the "social network" stuff. Also it might be that people don't really care about what they share.

 

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