Facebook with over 950 million users worldwide is emerging as the centre of a lot of research studies. Right from personality, to behaviour, to even employability, researchers are busy trying to find clues via Facebook. So where does this leave those who aren’t on Facebook? A news report on Dailymail.co.uk indicates that those not on Facebook are ‘suspicious’ and that the person maybe a psychopath.
Supporting this premise, the Daily Mail cited the a German magazine Der Taggspiegel. The magazine referred to the fact that James Holmes who recently caused mayhem by gunning down innocent people in Aurora theatre, Colorado, and Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian accused of mass murderer, share common ground in their absence from Facebook. Not much has been unearthed about their online presence apart from the fact Breivik was present on MySpace, while Holmes profile was found on the hookup site Adult Friend Finder. Der Taggspiegel quoted psychologist Christopher Moeller who said that using Facebook has become a sign of having a healthy social network. Psychologists have noted that prominent mass murders have lacked any real friends. The report concluded that for young adults, being on Facebook is the most normal thing. If you don’t have a Facebook profile, it’s a sign that you are abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous.
If you are not on Facebook, you may be labelled a psychopath
Apart from these startling revelations, the report cited another report on Forbes.com that referred to human resource departments across the country becoming wary of job candidates who aren’t on Facebook. Further it also referred to an advice column by Emily Yoffee, on Slate.com, which warns young people against dating anyone who isn’t on Facebook. A quote from the advice column reads, 'If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag”.
While these reports may seem slightly over-the-top, some serious studies have been undertaken in the past that analyze your personality on the basis of your Facebook profile and activity. A new study by researchers at the University of Missouri developed a scale that helps judge an individual’s personality from the way they use Facebook. The study claims that people who like high-risk activity tend to update their statuses often, upload photos, and interact with friends frequently. On the flip side, those who are reserved, rarely scroll through Facebook’s “news feed”, and don’t indulge in uploading photos or actively engaging with their friends.
This scale is said to have been created after surveying people about the way they use Facebook. It also had them take a personality test. According to the study, those who liked indulging in high-risk activities were labelled ‘appetitive’, and the ones who were reserved were called ‘aversive.’ It was observed that both personality types use Facebook frequently but the significant difference between them was found in how either type uses the site, as per Heather Shoenberger, the leader of the research team.