Internet has for a long time changed the way people communicate. One such internet services are provided by the Facebook. Since its launching in the year 2004, Facebook acts both as a means of communication while at the same time helps to maintain interpersonal relationships between genders. Past analysis show the use of internet to have dominated in one gender, the male, but the recent developments show equality in the male and female internet use.
This study analysis the gender differences over attraction on Facebook. Such differences will be based on their differences on the use of Facebook and online relationships forged through the use of Facebook. The paper will also give a future direction on the results and the limitations in the research (Gross, 2004).
There exist a lot of differences in as far as gender is concerned on internet services offered by the varying internet providers. The increased accessibility and the fact that internet services are ever expanding helps to augment the way people communicate. The internet use and the interpersonal relationships create a basis for gender differences on Facebook use. Considering some of the gender differences that exist and the dynamic nature of the Facebook users, it’s imperative to analyze the demographic differences that exist between the genders on such issues as (and not limited to) online relationships (Fallows, 2005).
In as far as Facebook is concerned, the differences that exist in the usage or attraction to the services offered range from (and not limited to) chatting, sending mail, educational purposes, creation of ideas, pursuing sexual relationship. This paper carries out an analysis on different journal articles on the Facebook use and then gives a future direction of the topic.
Secondary method of data collection was employed to collect the data for this paper. This is by the use of different journal articles on psychology, addressing the gender differences over attraction on Facebook.
What is Facebook? Social networking website, with a free access, managed and privately possessed by the Facebook, Inc. it enables its users to connect with different networks organized by (and not limited to) the school, and workplace, among others. It also enables people to add friends, communicate through messages, and update their profiles to provide information to their friends. It was founded by computer science student Mark Zuckerberg, and other students at Harvard University. It’s commenced with its members limited to Harvard students and later expanded to several colleges and universities (Ellison, Steinfeld & Lampe, 2007).
It allows users to interact with a number of its features, such as the Wall (for posting messages), Pokes (a virtual poke to the users), Photos (for users to upload albums and photos), and Status (for users to inform their friends on their whereabouts and particular actions). Although Facebook has had a great success in the past, it has also received several challenges and controversy. For instance, it has been banned and blocked by some countries such as Syria and Iran, and its usage banned at different workplace to discourage workers from wasting time while using the service. Its privacy has also been compromised (Ellison, Steinfeld & Lampe, 2007).
This section gives an explanation on the different journals used in writing of this paper.
According to Yan (2006), the debates over the extent of gender differences in as far as internet use on Facebook is concerned still exist. The journal continues to explain that the ratio of men to women, who happen use these internet services, are equally distributed, although their activities while online are quite different (Yan, 2006).
Golub, Baillie, and Brown (2007), noted that the attraction of women to the internet service was more on a need for a interpersonal communication, that includes, and not limited to chatting and message sending and other educational purposes, while on the other hand, although men enjoyed interpersonal communication, they were more into the different news offered by the internet service such as business news, such as on web page creation, and pursuing sexual relationships (Golub, Baillie, & Brown, 2007).
On the other hand, Boneva, Kraut, and Frohlich (2006), in their recent studies indicate that women are more likely to use computer mediated communication that do men. This in other words is to say, women tend to use Facebook communication services for relationship building. Golub, Baillie, and Brown (2007), indicates that there are gender differences in as far as attraction is concerned, and this is attributed to the usage of the Facebook services.
For the male, they consider the internet use as a daily activity more than women do. This indicates a gender gap in the internet use in as far as face book is concerned. The journal also indicated that men were more attracted to the use of Facebook messaging as a means to forge relationship more than women, this is because, men prefer to “date” and communication online than in person. Another difference existed in the state of the relationship especially, whereby; the journal indicates that women take such relationship more seriously than do men (Golub, Baillie, & Brown, 2007).
According to Gross (2004), there exist no difference in as far as maintaining existing relationship is concerned via the Facebook. This is to mean that men and women prefer to use the Facebook services for the purposes of communication with their loved one in order to maintain an existing relationship. Lenhart, Madden and Hitlin (2005), indicated that men were more likely to communicate with strangers than women. This is because of the fact that some men would prefer to use the service for short term relationship or to establish a sexual relationship (Lenhart, Madden & Hitlin, 2005).
Other reasons included the fact that men would greatly be affected by the physical appearances and therefore preferred this service. The authors also indicate that Facebook internet users from both genders have in the process formed a new relationship; friendly, romantic, and professional. This is attributed to the nature of privacy provided by the messaging services provided by the Facebook (Lenhart, Madden & Hitlin, 2005).
On the contrary to the above findings, Fallows (2005) argue that, though internet use has in the past been a male domain, through the introduction of Facebook services, the gender gap in the use of their services have in great way improved.
There is a high indication the future growth in the internet use in as far as Facebook is concerned which might tend to increase the gender gap. This is because introduction of such services as games will have a tendency to attract men. News and advertisement will also tend to attract men. Therefore, depending on the face and the services offered by the Facebook, the gender differences will be established (Ellison, Steinfeld & Lampe, 2007).
Ellison, N. B., Steinfeld, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12 (4).
Yan, Z. (2006). What influences children’s and adolescents’ understanding of the complexity of the internet? Developmental Psychology, 42(3), 418-428.
Fallows, D. (2005). How women and men use the internet. Washington D.C.: Pew internet and American Life Project. Retrieved on 9th march 2009, from: http://www.pewinternet.org.
Lenhart, A. Madden, M. & Hitlin, P. (2005). Teens and technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation. Washington D.C.: Pew internet and American Life Project. Retrieved on 9th march 2009 from: http://www.pewinternet.org.
Gross, E. F. (2004). Adolescent Internet use: What we expect, what teens report? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25(6), 633-649.
Boneva, B., Kraut, R., & Frohlich, D. (2006). Using email for personal relationships: The difference gender makes. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 530-549.
Golub, Y., Baillie, M. & Brown, M. (2007). Gender Differences in Internet Use and Online Relationships. American journal of psychological research. New York, NY: Brooklyn College. 3(1).