Facebook users do not like oversharing, studies show

A.J. Circhirillo

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Illustration by Sarah Cascadden

Illustration by Sarah Cascadden

Marissa Guerrero, junior communicative disorders for speech language pathology major, rarely updates her Facebook activity. She deactivated her account for nearly a year before she resurrected it to stay connected with her sorority sisters.

“I don’t like sharing my personal information. I’d rather be as low key as possible,” Guerrero said.

Rather than sharew personal information, Guerrero sometimes focuses on her friends’ activity. In fact, she finds herself more focused on her friends’ activity than her own, making her one of the 36 percent of Americans who dislike sharing too much information according to a Pew Research Center study.

She, like many of her classmates, doesn’t really have an interest in Facebook anymore.

“Facebook scares me,” Guerrero said. “I don’t like that people can look at what I’m up to at any moment.”

Facebook recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and the amount of people using the site has grown to over a billion monthly active users, according to a study by Statistic Brain.

But a recent study shows users don’t like oversharing on a site known for it’s information sharing and connecting people from around the world.

Nearly 60 percent of users don’t like other users sharing too much information, and nearly 40 percent of users feel pressured to share information, according to the Pew Research Center study.

The study also found that 36 percent of Facebook users strongly dislike when people post things about or photos of them without permission.

Bryian Montgomery, senior film production major, has a Facebook account, constantly checks his news feed, but never updates.

Montgomery said he likes to see what’s going on with his friends, but says they are oversharing quite a lot.

“I think people overshare because they are very lonely,” Montgomery said.

The study shows nearly half of Facebook users “like” their friends’ activities at least once a day. By contrast, 10 percent of users post something on their own profile once a day, and 25 percent of users never update anything at all.

“I go on the sorority group page more often than viewing my own news feed,” Guerrero said. “I post a comment or like a status roughly four times a day, but that’s about it.”

However, more than 75 percent of users have no interest in getting large amounts of likes or comments on their activity, according to the study. Only a small amount of users dislike the fact that they can view events in which they were not included.

The study also shows the divisions of how people use the site. Forty-seven percent of surveyors like Facebook because of what their friends post, while 46 percent of surveyors like being able to easily share and communicate with other people. The survey also showed that 30 percent of users say that learning from their friends or colleagues is a major reason they use Facebook.

Destiny Jay, a junior film production major, uses her Facebook to stay in touch with her widely dispersed family members.

“I use it often, but I just use it to keep in touch with my family all around the country,” Jay said.

Jay has noticed the enormous amount of oversharing on Facebook and believes it’s all for popularity and publicity.

“It’s very accessible to teenagers and young adults, so it gives them a chance to easily earn a celebrity status,” Jay said.

 

People straying from Facebook

Guerrero said she found herself straying away from Facebook and migrating to other social media sites such as Twitter or Instagram.

She’s not the only one, according to a different Pew study in 2013, people are platforming onto other social media sites.

The study shows people visit both sites more frequently than Facebook. About half of Twitter users visit the site daily, while over half of Instagram users check their app daily. But in regards to total users, Facebook still remains supreme, according to the study.

Guerrero said she is an avid user of the other two sites because of privacy.

“(Twitter and Instagram) limit people from seeing things,” Guerrero said. “It’s harder for people to stalk me. I just don’t like sharing information that people don’t need to know about.”

John Wesley Lamphere, junior philosophy major, who is also a part of Greek life at CSUN, rarely uses the site at all, even to communicate with his fraternity brothers at Lambda Chi Alpha. Other than the rare status updates, Lamphere prefers to keep face-to-face conversations.

“Facebook doesn’t really work for me,” Lamphere said. “Sometimes I would instant message people, but it’s not the same. I don’t really find a need to share things online either.”

Lamphere believes the oversharing is driving users away from even touching the social media site. He rarely interacts on others’ activities.

On the other hand, Marcos Mendez, senior urban studies and planning major, said he checks his Facebook almost every five minutes.

“I like to stay current,” said Mendez, who uses Facebook in a variety of ways, not just sharing or acknowledging his friend’s activities. “I don’t feel pressured to share. I just do it whenever I want to.”

Melina Pulos, junior business management major, recently deactivated her Facebook account for the fourth time.

“I’m done with social media,” said Pulos, who also recently deleted her Twitter and Instagram apps on her smartphone.

Pulos used Facebook to share her music tastes, and said she often posted music videos as well as status updates at least once a day.

“People overshare information on Facebook as a means of getting validation from other people, and I felt the need to validate other people too,” said Pulos, who also found herself more active on other user’s profiles.

Pulos said one of her friends didn’t post much and had the same profile picture for about a year, but Pulos would always see her active on her friend’s activity.

“I would always see her on other people’s statuses, but I rarely see any activity from her,” says Pulos.

John Bonnar, a sophomore English major, only uses his Facebook account to promote his band. When he’s not on Facebook, he said he absolutely hates the site.

“When I do go on, I laugh at other people’s statuses,” Bonnar said. “I just find some of them ridiculous.”

Bonnar said he hates Facebook because people can easily fake a persona. He also said one of his friends is not the type who would try to encourage and preach to people face-to-face, but he does it often on Facebook.

“People want to be perceived differently on Facebook,”  Bonnar said.

Bonnar is extremely opposed to oversharing. He believes it is highly unnecessary for people to share their personal life.

“People want to associate with others, through their statuses or pictures,” Bonnar said. “But share your stuff to somebody who cares, not to people who don’t.”