The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

New studies examine reasons for Facebook’s popularity

Facebook users may get more from the site than the pleasure of stalking others, according to a new study. Researchers at IULM University in Milan, Italy found that Facebook use is associated with a positive emotional state and high arousal.

The 30 participants in the study were exposed to a relaxation condition, a stress condition and finally their own Facebook account, and the psychophysiological responses of the subjects were recorded. Researchers found after statistical analysis that the Facebook experience was significantly different than the relaxation and stress responses.

The study said the positive responses of some participants might represent a key factor in explaining why social networks are spreading so successfully.

Other studies have also noted the impact of Facebook on its users.

A survey by Pew Research Center released earlier this month found that the average Facebook user receives more from friends than they give to others on the site. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

During the phone survey, 269 of the original respondents who were on Facebook gave researchers permission to access data on their use of Facebook, and it was matched with their survey responses.

They found Facebook users are more likely to get a friend request than make one. In the study, 63 percent received at least one friend request during the period studied while only 40 percent made a friend request.

Users “liked” a friend’s post an average of 14 times per month and received a “like” on their own posting 20 times per month.

Audrey Smolinski, a junior in the College of Engineering, said she does not often post or comment on friends’ Facebook pages.

“I usually just respond to others,” Smolinski said. She said she notices that she gets more friend requests than she sends.

“I find it awkward to friend request people,” Smolinski said. Still, she said she uses the site more now than when she created her profile in high school.

The Pew study also found that users are not getting bored with the social networking site. The study claimed that the more time that has passed since a user started using Facebook, the more frequently he/she makes status updates, uses the “like” button, comments on friends’ content and tags friends in photos. It also said the more Facebook friends someone has, the more they contribute all forms of Facebook content. They also tend to send and accept more friend requests.

Some Facebook users at Marquette have also noticed they haven’t slowed down on the social media site.

Nick Russo, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said he uses Facebook more than when he first made an account.

“I use it more because there is more to do,” Russo said.

He said he uses the site to talk with as many people as possible.

Heidi Loper, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, said it is almost a natural response for her to check her Facebook. Loper said she is always excited to see what is going on with her friends on the site. She said although she goes on the site more, she comments and posts less.

“I check my Facebook a lot more but I don’t update as much as I used to,” Loper said.

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