Insecure Women Post More Pictures on the Internet?

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A study on how people use social networking sites has confirmed what some of us may have suspected: women who post tons of photos of themselves on sites are more likely to base their self worth on appearance and thus, use social networking to compete for attention.

The study involved 311 men and women, whose average age was 23. In order to better understand aspects of social networking behavior, the researchers looked at the amount of time subjects spent managing their profiles, the number of photos they shared, the size of their online networks, and how “promiscuous” they were in terms of friending other users.

The study showed that there were differences between men and women. Overall, the results suggested that compared with men, women identify more strongly with their image and appearance and use social network sites to compete for attention, said the lead author of the study, Michael A. Stefanone, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Buffalo.

The authors also speculated that posting a lot of photos of oneself in the company of other people “may serve to communicate the importance of particular relationships because these bonds may provide security regarding one’s appearance and self worth.”

People who tended to base their self worth on other aspects, like academic competence, family love and support, or being a moral person, spent less time online and showed less interested in seeking attention by using social media.

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