March 9, 2011

Female and Male College students use Facebook Differently?

Filed under: Facebook — publicandprivatespace @ 1:39 pm

By: Chamilka Gunasekera


Almost every college student in the world has or has heard of the social networking site called Facebook. Facebook is the second most visited site on the internet, second to Google, and is continuously growing every day. Today Facebook is available all over the world and has more than 500 million active users. Facebook not only targets teenagers but people of all ages use the site for various different purposes. It is available in seventeen different languages and is one of the most visited sites on the internet. However there are many aspects of Facebook that have not been thoroughly researched including the gender differences on the site. There are many differences amongst teenage girls and teenage boys seen in the real world, so do these characteristics transfer onto their Facebook pages?

After researching on the topic of the use of Facebook amongst college students, males and females, it is obvious that both genders use the social networking site differently. Firstly research shows that females in general use the site more often than males. Statistics show that 55% of Facebook users are female whereas the other 45% are male. The number of female outweighs the number of males in every single age group. When looking at specific users from ages 45-54 the number of female users is close to double the amount of male users (519,180 females to 316,700). Although this gap is much smaller in the age group of 18-25 (9,113,120 to 7,649,520) there is still a significant difference. Just these statistics alone show that Facebook is used more commonly among females.

Research also shows that females spend more time on Facebook t.han males do each day. For part of my research I conducted a survey on the University Campus. I asked 10 males and 10 females various questions about Facebook and how they spend their time on the site. After interviewing the twenty college students, results shows that on average females spend more time a day on Facebook than males.  On an average everyone interviewed stated that they checked their Facebook more than once a day. Females however stated that they used Facebook almost two hours every day (with the average being one and a half hours) where as in males the average was an hour. Statistics show that in every age group, female users check their Facebook much more frequently than male users. However how exactly was this time spent?

When viewing college males and females on Facebook it is evident that females edit their profiles more. The results of the surveys taken showed that when asked the question “Do you spend a lot of time changing your profile?” Eighty percent of females answered yes. When asked what they do to change their profile the majority answered that they changed their profile picture. When the same question was asked of the males, ten out of the ten responded no, meaning that they did not spend time changing their profile. In addition to the surveys I also spent some time viewing ten college students Facebook profile pages, five male and five female. When viewing the sites it was clear that Females had many more albums and uploaded pictures than most males, showing that they spend more time updating their profile. Statistics show that females also write on their profiles more than males. In the information page containing general information such as favorite movies, favorite books, activities etc. more females divulged more information than men. Another interesting difference amongst the two genders was the use of time on Facebook. Many males stated that most of their time on Facebook was dedicated to chatting with others and looking at others profiles. Females agreed that they did spend much time looking at others profile and chatting but an equal amount of time was also dedicated to using different applications. Finally the overall question was asked “What is the most important reason for using Facebook?”  Sixty percent of males answered that they used Facebook mainly to “creep” and “stalk” others. The majority of females however answered that they used Facebook to stay connected and for communication.

Along with clear differences on the use of Facebook features, there are also many differences in privacy concerns amongst the two genders. When searching through the site I found that more females had their profiles set to a private setting than males did. Many males’ sites were accessible whereas in order to access many females’ profiles a friend request approval was needed. The video titled “Only Hot Girls Care about Facebook Privacy” is a parody on the idea that nobody really cares about Facebook privacy except females. The video shows females fighting for privacy rights while males just brush the issue off. This parallels the idea in society that females tend to care about Facebook privacy more than males. Also when surveying college females, ninety percent stated that they cared about who was viewing their profiles, whereas only 40% of males said that privacy was a major issue for them.

It is obvious that there are many differences when comparing the use of Facebook amongst college females and males. Dissimilarities between the two genders are seen in everyday life including habits, views, etc so it is only normal to see these differences on Facebook. These distinctions are seen when viewing how much each gender uses Facebook, the different features and applications used by each gender, and the privacy concerns amongst both groups. With this information more knowledge is known about the variations between college females and males and the distinctions among the two on Facebook are now more prominent.





  1. Allyson Barham
    As a Facebook user and a girl I believe that yes it is accurate that girls spend a greater amount of time on Facebook then boys do. I have in fact noticed a lot of the things mentioned in this article when I look at females and males Facebook’s. It seems like all of my friends that are girls every time I get on Facebook they have changed what there profile picture is, whereas my friends that are guys seem to have their profile pictures for up to a year. Also as mentioned in the article I believe that there is reasoning as to why girls have more privacy settings on their Facebook’s then guy’s do. Girls tend to have more pictures on their Facebook and more conversations, which basically means that they have more personal information that is on their profile then guys do, more information that they don’t want just everyone to be able to see. Even though this article said that guys use Facebook for creeping on people mainly, I believe that this is also the main reason that girls use Facebook too. I personally and many of my close friends could tell of personal experiences of just looking a profiles on Facebook and somehow ending up on your best friends cousins little sisters profile and completely unaware of how you got there. Even though this article does make some valid points I believe that most people spend the majority of their time on Facebook looking at others profiles not communicating, no matter the gender.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  2. Christine Weaver
    I disagree with the data collected from females about how they use their Facebook’s. I’m sure girls do spend much time communicating with others, but from my personal experience and observation, I think girls spend most of their time “creeping” on Facebook too. They just don’t want other people to know it.
    I believe that this can be proved with other data collected from this study. It was said that girls use more privacy settings than guys. I believe that this comment is true for both Facebook and everyday life. Girls use the word “creeper” to refer to people that they don’t like. They would not want to admit to “creeping” on other people’s profiles. That information, like the information on their profile, is private.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  3. By Joe Haas

    As a male weighing in on this argument, I would agree with everything except for the fact that girls don’t creep as much as guys. Girls creep harder and worse than guys. They will go on a person’s page and read everything! Guys will only creep to the extent that they look at a good looking girls pictures, similar to how males and females act in everyday life. Men are visual creatures. Women are emotional creatures. Sure it’s not totally black and white in this regard but in general this is the way it is. Guys will do visually stimulating things on Facebook while girls will do emotionally stimulating things. Both guys and girls use Facebook to creep. The real discretion is in the type of creeping that guys and girls do.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 10, 2011 @ 2:48 pm | Reply


    I 100 percent agree that girls are on Facebook more than guys, they spend more time when on, and they edit their profiles more. I personally check facebook about twice a day. It is not very important to me. I keep my privacy on a very close watch because I really do not want all of these random people looking at my information. I have many friends that are girls, and they always tell me how they got no homework done because they were on facebook all night. What is there to do on facebook that takes up this much time? It is because these girls “creep” on everyone. I do not agree that guys creep more than girls. Just as Joe said above, guys only look at pictures of people. Girls look at who everyone was talking to and what they were saying. I think facebook is a great thing, but people are spending way too much of their time on it.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 1:08 am | Reply

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