Saturday, March 03, 2012

Right to privacy, Facebook variety

A Pew survey on the online social networking habits of adults reveals unsurprising gender differences in personal privacy settings. By a ratio of nearly 5 to 1 (67% to 14%), women make their profiles private and thus only accessible to their friends rather than making them publicly available for viewing by whoever looks them up. While men also tend towards restricting profile access, the ratio, at less than 2 to 1 (48% to 26%), is far less lopsided.

Biology is informative here. Women are the more restrictive gender not only in regards to sex, but when it comes to personal relationships of lesser intensity as well. The survey didn't probe it, but I'd wager girls are also more apt to reject friendship requests from people they barely know or don't know at all than guys are. Being Facebook stalked is understandably a worrisome issue for women, while for men it's flattering and invitational (there are a few easy tricks to get a good sense of who is regularly checking your Facebook profile out).

Parenthetically, 93% of those who use online social networking sites have a Facebook account (as of Spring 2011). MySpace is still used by 23% of them. By contrast, only 11% use Twitter. It's my impression that the latter receives undue media attention given its relatively niche presence. I don't use Twitter so excuse my ignorance about the site, but doesn't Facebook, via status updates, do everything Twitter does plus a whole lot more?


IHTG said...

Media types love Twitter because it's ideal for staying up-to-date about things, in easy to digest 140-character chunks. (that limitation also means it works well and looks good with small-screened mobile devices)

Anonymous said...

My own anecdotal experience is that women tend to have far more friends than men do, and that that many of these are close friendships. "agnostic" does not offer any data to contradict that perception.

Fwiw, I'm a man.

Audacious Epigone said...


Valid point. I posted a response suggesting men indeed do tend to have more friendships than women do (although it is hardly definitive).

Audacious Epigone said...


that limitation also means it works well and looks good with small-screened mobile devices

Ah, good point. The perspicacity is appreciated!