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Sweden’s largest Facebook study: a survey of 1000 Swedish Facebook users

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.

You might get hooked
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.

People with low income and low-educated individuals spend more time on Facebook
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.

We brag, provoke, and mainly write about positive events
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:
• The average user spends 75 minutes per day on Facebook
• The average user logs on to Facebook 6.1 times per day
• 70 percent log in every time they start their computer or web reader
• 26 percent feel ill at ease if they do not get to log in regularly
• Women spend on average 81 minutes per day on Facebook
• Men spend on average 64 minutes per day on Facebook
• Facebooking is primarily a habit among young users
• Older Facebook users use Facebook to get to know more people
• 67 percent of young users use Facebook to kill time
• 38 percent share negative information in their status updates
• Women write more about emotions and relationships
• One third of the men try to provoke others on Facebook, which is twice the figure for women
• More than 50 percent of the users broadcast information and knowledge via Facebook
• Women who use Facebook more are also report feeling less happy and less content with their lives
• One quarter of the respondents brag on Facebook

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.

Members of the project group Sweden’s Largest Facebook Study:
Leif Denti, doctoral student of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg, Ida Nilsson, communication strategist specialising in social media, Isak Barbopoulos, doctoral student of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg, and Linda Holmberg, Magdalena Thulin, Malin Wendeblad, Lisa Andén and Emelie Davidsson, students at the University of Skövde.

GRI is an institute for interdisciplinary research at the School of Business, Economics and Law. It enables the School’s researchers to carry out research projects of high relevance to both industry and society in programme form. Our research falls in the domains of Business Administration, Anthropology, Sociology, Technology and Social Environmental Research. GRI stands for cooperation and long-sightedness.

For more information, please contact:
Leif Denti, doctoral student in Psychology at the University of Gothenburg
Telephone: +46 (0)739 93 15 00

Isak Barbopoulos, doctoral student in Psychology at the University of Gothenburg
Telephone: +46 (0)732 63 54 63

Helena Aaberg | idw
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