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Picking apart the Facebook fad

It seems that these days, everyone has a Facebook account. Whether you are walking through the library during a regular class day or hanging out in a friend’s room, you will see someone checking their profile. But why are people so attached to their Facebook accounts when it seems like there is so much more to occupy our time with?

The Waltonian decided to conduct a student survey, analyzing why it is that students are so obsessed with Facebook.

At first glance, the data gleaned from the survey seemed unremarkable. However, after closer examination, some surprising results emerged concerning the 168 students that were surveyed that have Facebook accounts.

Despite all of the hype that surrounds Facebook, 58 percent of those questioned reported that they spent less than one hour per day visiting the website. Thirty-one percent spent between one and two hours on the site, six percent stayed two to three hours, two percent visited the site for three to four hours and three percent stayed longer than four hours.

When asked why they visited Facebook, 38 percent claimed that they did so in order to stay in touch with their old friends, while 11 percent reported that they used the site to make new friends. Seventeen percent use Facebook primarily to send messages to people and 17 percent say that they use it mainly to either post pictures or view pictures that others have posted. An additional 17 percent use Facebook as a means of making casual contact with others.

Remarkably, when questioned about their primary emotional reason for visiting Facebook, an astounding 54 percent responded that they visited the site out of boredom. In contrast, 18 percent went to Facebook out of curiosity, while 25 percent visited the site because they were feeling friendly. Two percent claimed that they visited Facebook out of jealousy, while one percent reported that they visited Facebook because they felt lonely.

Considering these results, it seems to be that students at Eastern use Facebook as a way to pass the time between classes or keep in contact with people around campus. Although Facebook can have its negative drawbacks, it’s a great tool for distraction and keeping the bonds from high school strong.

Surveys conducted by Andrew Milbourne and Marcus Day. Graphs by Andrew Milbourne.

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