MySapce v Facebook based on social class

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some doctoral research has shown the MySapce and Facebook is divided by social class . The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.

The conclusions are based on interviews with many teenage users of the social networking sites by PhD student Danah Boyd from the School of Information Sciences at UC Berkeley. Broadly, Ms Boyd found Facebook users tend to be white and come from families who are keen for children to get the most out of school and go on to college. Characterising Facebook users she said: "They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities." By contrast, the average MySpace teenager tendeds to come from families where parents did not go to college, she said.

She wrote: "This division is just another way in which technology is mirroring societal values." In some ways, Ms Boyd wrote, social networking sites are helping teenagers cope with the stresses of 21st Century life. "Teens are using social network sites to build community and connect with their peers," she said. "And through it, they are showcasing all of the good, bad, and ugly of today's teen life."
From my experience her conclusions are fairly true, but for our young people it is also an age thing. Those in the 12-16 year old bracket are much more orientated to MySpace, while those in the 17+ age bracket are drawn to Facebook.


Surely this has an awful lot to do with the fact that facebook was launched in universities first and in fact in this country has only been open to others for a relatively short time. I'd wait and see if the trend was different in a few years time before considering it a societal divide based on "class" raher than access.

Sarah Brush said...
June 29, 2007 5:50 pm  

I agree, I think also it is easier for younger people to get hold of myspace, even though they are supposed to be 14 or over, in comparison with facebook which is 13.

Chris said...
June 29, 2007 8:57 pm  

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