Posts Tagged With futurism

Friday, February 3, 2012 / 4:02 pm

Futuristic Technologies, Backwards Cities

Why it's easy to be social online and so damn hard to be social in our crappy city spaces.

by Tony Chavira

Tags: futurism | cities | urbanism | Facebook | Twitter

What if facebook were a city?

The British Psychological Society published an interesting article the other day on what your choice of social networking says about your personality. Here’s the good stuff:

People who used Facebook mostly for socialising tended to score more highly on sociability and neuroticism (consistent with past research suggesting that shy people use the site to forge social ties and combat loneliness). Social use of Twitter correlated with higher sociability and openness (but not neuroticism) and with lower scores on conscientiousness. This suggests that social Twitter users don't use it so much to combat loneliness, but more as a form of social procrastination.

What about using the sites as an informational tool? There was an intriguing divergence here. People who said they used Facebook as an informational tool tended to score higher on neuroticism, sociability, extraversion and openness, but lower on conscientiousness and “need for cognition”. Informational users of Twitter were the mirror opposite: they scored higher on conscientiousness and “need for cognition”, but lower on neuroticism, extraversion and sociability. The researchers interpreted these patterns as suggesting that Facebook users seek and share information as a way of avoiding more cognitively demanding sources such as journal articles and newspaper reports. Twitter users, by contrast, use the site for its cognitive stimulation - as a way of uncovering useful information and material without socialising (this was particularly true for older participants).

In other words, people use different sites for different reasons. Yet, the most interesting thing (I feel) is that Facebook has 500 million subscribers while Twitter has 200 million. Does that mean that people are more extroverted in general, or just that people are more extroverted online? Does it mean that two out of every seven people are nervous about direct social interaction and just want to be mentally stimulated? Or does it mean that five out of every seven are highly neurotic and need be to around others?

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