There have been some recent arguments that moderately using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter may promote anti-social behaviors, since you get used to communicating with a computer instead of a real person. A study out of the University of Texas, Austin, would like to refute this theory.
The study, entitled “Got Facebook? Investigating What’s Social About Social Media,” says that using Facebook can actually make a person more sociable. How, you ask? The study’s answer is below.
Our findings suggest that Facebook is not supplanting face-to-face interactions between friends, family and colleagues. In fact, we believe there is sufficient evidence that social media afford opportunities for new expressions of friendship, intimacy, and community.
No matter if it is a wall post, a comment, or a photo, young people’s engagement with Facebook is driven, primarily, by a desire to stay connected to and involved in the lives of friends who live close by, far away, or have just entered in to their lives.
The 900 college students and recent grads who participated in the study also noted that staying in touch with far-off friends and family members were two of the biggest priorities and perks of Facebook. One of the study’s authors told the Los Angeles Times that this kind of social interaction wouldn’t even have been possible a few years ago. “It would have been unimaginable for young people to have their family members as part of their network,” he said.
While the study mostly included college students, their Facebook activity seems, at least, to be representative of the ways in which the larger audience uses this social networking site. Therefore, it’s probably logical to conclude that Facebook could make seniors who are active on its site more sociable, too.