“Thinking of deactivating Facebook to detox the mind,” says a status update of a friend. Are women spending too much time on social media?
A study says, ‘Overall, females spend more time on Facebook. Nearly 60% of Facebook users are women, compared to about 40% men. While Twitter has nearly equal number of men and women, women tweet more often than men. However, the gender split is almost even on YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Flickr and Instagram’.
Personally, I believe this is how we interact in real lives. Women are great net workers and prolific communicators. Sharing information, watching pictures and connecting with people comes naturally to them. Plus, a good natter with friends makes women happier. It boosts levels of progesterone that reduces anxiety and stress.
However, men are not overtly enthusiastic when it comes to socializing. They are not really interested in ‘who-is-wearing-what’ or ‘who-is-going-out-with-who’. I forced my husband to open his Facebook account but he seems to have no interest in pressing ‘likes’ or watching pictures of friends. Perhaps, younger men are more active on social media. Some even use social sites as a job or a mate seeking tool.
Hoping that women will not chew me to bits, I have to say that women are relatively more interested in observing the activity of other women. More significantly, women enjoy receiving and giving compliments. Only women can go, “Awww…so cute” or “Sooo sweet…super duper like.” Perhaps Zuckerberg knew ‘what women want’ and Twitter arrived as an icing on the top.
In a recent article in Hindustan Times, Barkha Dutt says, “As a television journalist who spends more time on Twitter than is healthy for her BlackBerry wrecked hands, I find that my tweets reach more people than the average audience for most English news shows.”
Now that says a lot, doesn’t it?
Interestingly, social media is also a platform where the news breaks first. What started as a social platform to share pictures and ideas, has now morphed into a powerful tool for empowerment and dispensing information.
For me and several others, Facebook is a useful ally to share blogs and articles. If I look at the gender divide from the number of comments, more women comment on the articles. However, verbal feedback tells me that more men read blogs but do not have the time or feel the need to comment - unless they are bloggers themselves.
While social media can be incredibly entertaining, it can be empowering too. Societies, they say, do not change significantly over a decade but individuals do. It may be a man’s world, but on the World Wide Web, women are finding their voices. And expressing them.
So go forth and do it. Speak your mind that is!
(Pic Courtesy: Google Images. The entire article is available in Friday Gurgaon, dated 13-11-12)