Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I am violating the rules of my demographic

Brian Heys links to this article.

A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites.

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.

For the record, I have never used Facebook, have been a MySpace user for some time, and have an MBA.

I guess I'm an anomaly.

More from the article:

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....

"Social networks are strongly connected to geography, race, and religion; these are also huge factors in lifestyle divisions and thus 'class'," she wrote.

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 tends to come from families where parents did not go to college, she said.

Ms Boyd also found far more teens from immigrant, Latino and Hispanic families on MySpace as well as many others who are not part of the "dominant high school popularity paradigm".

"MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracised at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers," she said.

Actually, upon further examination there are some MySpace elements that do mirror my personal condition. I was the first member of my family to graduate from college, and I did not go to my prom. And I did spend some time in college going around in a shopping cart as the Quirst Alien, which probably covers the geek/freak factor...


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