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Photo Sharing on Facebook Reflects Importance of Physical Appearance for Women

A researcher from the University of Buffalo found that women who base the self-worth on the physical appearance are likely to share more of their pictures online. They tend to maintain larger social networks online. According to Michael A. Stefanone, the lead researcher, females identify with their appearance and image more strongly and they use Facebook to grab and compete for attention.

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311 participants were studied for the study. Their average age was 23.3 years and about 49.8% were females. They were asked to complete a questionnaire to measure their contingencies and idea of self worth. They were also asked about their Facebook behaviours. Participants whose self-worth was based on other’s approval, their physical appearance and competitive spirit have higher intensity of sharing of photos online. Participants who based their self-worth on academic competence, being virtuous and family love and support spend less time online.

The study assesses how the personalities are formed and maintained. It gives a framework for further research on identity construction, media use and social interaction in this communication environment.

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