One of the greatest things, I think, to come out of social media is the fact that we all think out loud online, and that can lead to some very interesting sociological conclusions. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks give researchers tons of quantifiable data on the state of the human race. For example, remember that study released earlier this month that found that all Facebook users are narcissistic and insecure? Our online selves give researchers access to a gold mine of information that they can interpret and analyze to try and gain insight about society as well as individual personalities. Want to learn more about yourself? For 10 things researchers have learned about you from your online profiles and Twitter activity just read more.
- Status messages make us feel more connected with each other.
- We are passive consumers of information.
- Our movie recommendations matter more at the box office than critic's reviews.
- We like people more if they express themselves, both online and in real life.
- Our Twitter conversations predict larger social trends.
- We value our online friends for practical advice and recommendations.
- Who's in our Twitter lists tell people about our personality and interests.
- Women make up over half of Twitter users, but men still have more followers.
- The top 10 percent most-active Twitter users account for over 90 percent of all tweets.
- The most influential Twitter users are often just average Joes, not celebrities.
What do you think? Do these researchers have your personality down, or are they missing the mark? Some of these insights seem like no-brainers to me (of course we feel connected to friends when we learn about what's happening in their lives via status updates, right?), but I do like the fact that scientists are using all our seemingly vapid musings and mundane status updates to help us learn more about ourselves as a society.