We already know that Facebook is the fastest-growing thing on the Internet, ever. It claims 10% of the world's population as its members. Now, a new study out of Sweden fills in some more detail about how Zuckerberg's baby is faring in the land of Dragon Tattoos. The study was based on data collected from more than 1000 Swedish 18-73 year olds from June to September 2011 via a web-based questionnaire.
The surveyed women spend an average of 81 minutes per day on Facebook, whereas men spend 64 minutes. Low educated groups and low income groups who spend more time on Facebook also report feeling less happy and less content with their lives. This relationship between time spent on Facebook and well-being is also salient for women, but not for men. These are some of the results of Sweden's largest Facebook study ever, a project led by Leif Denti, doctoral student of psychology at the University of Gothenburg.
Facebook is a habit-forming activity – 85 percent of the respondents use Facebook as part of their daily routine. Almost half of the respondents indicated that it is difficult to stay updated and on top of things without Facebook, and one quarter responded that they would feel ill at ease if they didn't get to log in on a regular basis.
"Facebooking may become an unconscious habit. A majority of the respondents log in every time they start their web browser. This may even develop into an addiction," says Leif Denti, doctoral student of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg.
Women are generally more active than men on Facebook. On average, women spend 81 minutes per day Facebooking, whereas men spend 64 minutes. Users with low income and low education use Facebook more than other groups. Within these groups, users who spend more time on Facebook also report feeling less happy and less content with their lives. This relationship is also present for women, but not for men.
One third of the male respondents stated that they provoke others on Facebook. That is about twice the figure for women (one fifth). One quarter of the respondents use Facebook to brag.
"Facebook is a social tool that is clearly used to manage relationships with friends and family. But users won't write just anything – most of the content they share has something to do with major events, positive events and when feeling good. Only 38 percent write about negative emotions and events," says Leif Denti.
Facebook statistics from the study: