Friday, June 22, 2012

Facebook Makes No Difference

Facebook is an anomaly. Scientists have discovered that the most influential ones on it are not the young “hip” ones, but those in their thirties and above. Imagine. So, we should no longer hope to die before we get old.

In our modern world, it's generally assumed that cultural change and social mentality is highly influenced by each new generation in its adolescence. At least that's what advertising and the entertainment industry insist.

The big study (presented in New Scientist) found that single men over 31 years of age have the greatest influence over their Facebook friends.

The difference in influence is quite significant. For example, people over 31 are 51% more influential than those below 18, singles are as much as 113% more influential than those in a relationship, and men 49% more influential than women.

Strangely, men even have more influence over women than other women do. On the other hand, the women have 46% more influence over men than over women, and they are overall 12% less susceptible to influence than men are.

What's revealed here is really nothing new, but the old patterns proving to survive in spite of the Internet revolution. As they say, age before beauty. It also remains a man's world, somewhat.

Why singles should be so much more influential than those in a relationship is more of a riddle. This might be a new thing, where the single status may be regarded as a mark of independence and integrity? Or the explanation could be found in other social habit differences between singles and couples.

Exactly how the Internet and the world opened by it will affect our habits and mentalities is something we're just beginning to ponder. The future is a mist. But the above mainly suggests that to a large extent it will be pretty much like the past. We may change our tools and equipment with lightning speed, but ourselves we don't change that quickly.

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