Table of Contents
The aim of this paper was to investigate the difference in gender and number of subjects in a profile picture. The study also aimed at evaluating the candidness of the profile pictures between older and younger Facebook users. The study data was obtained from a random sample from the Facebook profiles. Data analysis was then conducted using chi square method. From the analysis, it was observed that the younger Facebook users had a higher inclination of posting posed photographs more than the older users. Further, the analysis revealed that both male and female students have similar tendencies of sharing personal information on their Facebook profile.
Facebook has gained global recognition as a vital communication platform over the last decade. Its popularity cuts across all ages with young and old people using it to update friends on their current progress (Lenhart, 2009). The creation of a profile is the means through which Facebook users can accomplish their goal of updating friends. Recent surveys have revealed that Facebook is one of the most popular and highly visited website. Facebook profile has gained social capital through initiating and developing self-imaging of users (Zhang, 2010). The profile has indeed helped users to share their current events and trends on their Facebook walls (utz, 2010).
Facebook and gender
The developments of online disclosure are fundamentally culturally and socially shaped. Both males and females have different choices on social networks. In constructing primary goals and developing positive impressions and identities, the support for social gender roles are considered. The gender-social support characterizes male as agentic providers and females as communal care givers (Guadogno et al., 2011). Most of the male Facebook photographs comprises of the face and head, while the female photographs are centered at the whole-body outlook (Reichart & Cooley, 2008). The use of photographs on the users’ profile is believed to increase their popularity (Smith &Cooley,2012). Gender stereo typing is still present among Facebook users. This is despite users possessing the ability to select the images that represent them. In another study, it was revealed that female Facebook users post about alcohol and marijuana more frequently on their profile than their male counterparts (Morgan et al., 2010). Consequently, such frequent positing points to a postulation that marijuana and alcohol usage is socially accepted. According to Bond (2009), female Facebook users have the tendency to post about family events, friends, alcohol, and holiday. On the other hand, the male Facebook users were more likely to post sport related photos (Bond, 2009).
The desire for data storage and preservation of memories is the main reason that contributes to frequent posting on Facebook among females. According to Mesch and Beker (2010), most female Facebook users are likely to post photographs on their profile and are willing to share them publicly. Contrary to females, the male Facebook users mostly post videos of themselves online. According to Young and Quan Haase (2009), both males and females are likely to post their private and personal information as well as their images. The authors further assert that male and female Facebook users interact on the online platform and are more likely to be open. This is because there is no face-face interaction, thus making self-disclosure easy without set norms and rules. However, Sussman and Tyson (2000) argue that women are more likely to disclosing and being open in their personal information on the Facebook profile. The interactive behavior between male and female is heavily influenced by their gender difference. For example, in term of politics, men usually post about six times more that their female counterparts (Eagly, 1987).
There are several differences between female and male on the way they use the social media. Facebook is one of the proportion of social media where both male and female interacts. In social theory, literature tells us that the interaction within the online platforms is enhanced through facial expressions, photographs, and the text notes posted on such platforms. Facial expression and the interaction between male and female is one of the most important things on the Facebook platform. Additionally, the social platform offers a very important communication network among the male and female Facebook users. The importance of the online platform is considered important to both young and old people. The objective of this study is to determine if there is significant difference between gender and number of subjects in a profile picture. Further, the study is interested in determining if there is statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age.
- Ho: There is no statistically significant difference between gender and number of subjects in a profile picture
Ha: There is statistically significant difference between gender and number of subjects in a profile picture
- Ho: There is no statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age
Ha: There is statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age
The population of the survey comprised of all the Facebook users old and young, male and female. A list of Facebook active users was used to sect a random sample of 50 Facebook users. Simple random sampling technique was used in generating the sample to avoid bias. People personally known to the researcher were selected since an email rather than Facebook messaging was to be used for questioning. The rationale for this was to seek prior and informed consent from the Facebook users and ensure that confidentiality of the respondents was preserved in line with ethical research. The sampling was selected to ensure that the users sampled had several photographs on their profile. The appropriateness of the photographs in the sampled users was also taken into consideration. This was to ensure that all the photographs were appropriate to all viewers.
The study used a structured questionnaire to gather the required information from the Facebook users. All the study variables were nominal variables. These are operationally defined as; construct #1– measured as the number of subjects (other = no individuals, group = 3 or 4 individuals, couple = two individuals, and alone = 1 individual). The codes for the variables were numerically identified (measure) construct #1 = (‘0’ other, ‘1’ group, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ alone) Hum et al. (2011). The gender variable included; male coded as 1 and female coded as 0. The predictor variable age was coded young= 1 and older people as zero. The candidness variable was measured as the degree of candidness (other = individual not represented, posed = planned, between posed and candid = laughing or another non-direct position, and candid = unplanned, off guard). List the codes that will numerically identify (measure) construct #2 = (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between posed and candid, and ‘3’ candid) (Hum et al.,2011).
The data was coded in SPSS and analyzed in line with the hypothesis. Since the variables were nominal, a chi- square was used to analyze the hypothesis. The results were presented in table forms.
Hypothesis #1: There is statistically significant number of subjects in a profile picture
Table 1: Gender (‘0’ female and ‘1’ male) * Number of Subjects (‘0’ other, ‘1’ alone, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ group) Crosstabulation
|Number of Subjects (‘0’ other, ‘1’ alone, ‘2’ couple, and ‘3’ group)||Total|
|Gender (‘0’ female and ‘1’ male)||female||4||15||4||2||25|
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From table one, it was observed that the number of female with other kind of photographs were four, the number of female students with only one photograph (alone) were 15, the number of female couple photographs were four, and finally the number of females who had group photographs were 2. This indicates that he female students have tendency to display the personal information. The total number of male who had other kind of photographs were 7, the number of male students who had their own photograph were 13, while the number of male students who had couple photographs were 5 students, and finally the number of male students who had group photographs were only 4 students. This indicated that both male and female students have equal tendency to disclose their personal information to the public on their Facebook profile.
Table 2: Chi-Square Tests
|Value||df||P – value|
|N of Valid Cases||50|
|a. 6 cells (75.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 3.00.|
From table 2, the researcher conducted the analysis to determine if there is difference between the female and male students on the profile photographs in their Facebook profile. From the table, it can be observed that the value of chi-square was 1.063 with 3 degrees of freedom and a p- value of 0.786. This means that there is no sufficient evidence to conclude that there is significant difference between the male and female students on the number of subjects they post on their profiles pictures. This means that both male and female students do post significantly equal number of photographs on their Facebook profile.
Hypothesis one: There is no statistically significant difference in the candidness of profile pictures based on age.
Table 3: Age (‘0’ older and ‘1’ younger) * Candidness (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between candid and posed, and ‘3’ candid) Crosstabulation
|Candidness (‘0’ other, ‘1’ posed, ‘2’ between candid and posed, and ‘3’ candid)||Total|
|others||Posed||between candid and posed||Candid|
|Age (‘0’ older and ‘1’ younger)||older||2||5||0||1||8|
Table three gives the results of the analysis on whether the candidness is significantly different between the younger and older Facebook users. From the table, it was observed that older students indicated the photographs that showed candidness on other photographs were two. Further, the same age class the indicated the number of photographs they posed were 5. The number on photographs that indicated both candid and posed were zero for older persons. Finally, the number of photograph that indicated candid were only one for older persons on Facebooks. From table three, it was observed that number of younger Facebook users with other kind of photographs was 4, the numbers of younger Facebook users with posed photographs were 32, the number of younger Facebook users with photo between candid and posed photographs was 6, and finally the number of young Facebook users with candid appearance was only one person. From this analysis, it can be concluded that the younger Facebook users have high number of photographs with posed than the older Facebook users on their profile.
Table 4: Chi-Square Tests
|Value||df||Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)|
|N of Valid Cases||50|
|a. 4 cells (50.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .16.|
Table four above shows the results for the analysis conducted to determine if there is difference between the older and younger on the profile candid photographs in their Facebook profile. From the table, it can be observed that the value of chi-square was 7.904 with 3 degrees of freedom and a p- value of 0.048. This means that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that there is significant difference between the younger and older Facebook users on the candidness of photographs they post on their profiles. This means that the younger Facebook users do post significantly high number of candid photographs on their Facebook profile.
From that analysis, it was observed that both male and female students have equal tendency of posting same number of photographs involving their personal information. This clearly indicated that both males and female student’s Facebook users share their personal information on the online platform equally. Further, the result indicated that the younger Facebook users have the tendency of posting posed photographs than the older Facebook users. This research agreed with Young and Quan Haase (2009) who found that both male and female are likely to post their private and personal information and likely to post their images. Both male and female on Facebook interact on the online platform and are more likely to be open since there is no face-face interaction, thus having a self-disclosure without any set norms and rules. The findings of this study agree with results in other research on the use of online communication platforms.
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Limitation of the study
This study was limited to students within the Facebook profile who were friends to the researcher. This was to ensure the researcher could reach them and also uphold the privacy of the Facebook users. The researcher solved this problem by sending them email for the consent to the Facebook users to allow him to be able to visit their Facebook profile. This helped solve the privacy issue.
- Further research would be done to examine the significant different between gender and number of subject profile picture in all the online social media networks.
- The research would be extended to examine the influence of peer to the nature of profile photographs posted on Facebook.
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