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The Relation between Facebook Use Pattern and Demographic Factors | OMICS International
ISSN: 2378-5756
Journal of Psychiatry
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The Relation between Facebook Use Pattern and Demographic Factors

Tanjir Rashid Soron* and Monowar Ahmed Tarafder

Jalalabad Ragib, Rabeya Medical College, Bangladesh

*Corresponding Author:
Tanjir Rashid Soron
Jalalabad Ragib, Rabeya Medical College
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel: 8801718827138
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: July 03, 2015; Accepted Date: September 26, 2015; Published Date: September 30, 2015

Citation: Soron TR, Tarafder MA (2015) The Relation between Facebook Use Pattern and Demographic Factors. J Psychiatry 18:326. doi:10.4172/2378-5756.1000326

Copyright: © 2015 Soron TR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This study explored the pattern of Facebook use in Bangladesh and its relation with demographic factors. Stratified random sampling technique was used for data collection in this cross sectional study. We screened 1546 people from 11 different sites to find out those who were using Facebook for one year or more. Respondents with a diagnosed mental illness were excluded from the study. A total 341 people met the selection criteria. Participants completed an anonymous self-applied questionnaire. We used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 21 for data analysis. The study revealed Facebook used rate was highest among the engineers and lowest among the garments workers. About 25% of the respondents had multiple Facebook accounts. Number of Facebook account was related to age, marital status and gender. Respondent having multiple Facebook accounts had more Facebook friends. Unmarried young male were more interested in creating multiple Facebook accounts. The first log in the Facebook in a day was related to gender and marital status. About 15% respondents admitted they failed to meet their responsibility due to excessive Facebook use and it was more common among the younger female students. In the study, 18% respondents considered themselves Facebook addict. The motivation and activities in Facebook varied among different demographic characteristics. Married people used Facebook more to communicate with friends, upload photos and for news while unmarried people used to play online games and to exchange academic information. Female were more concerned about the privacy setting. This study revealed few alarming pattern of Facebook in Bangladesh. Future researcher may explore the Facebook use related problems like Facebook addiction in developing countries in a large scale.


Facebook; Use pattern; Demographic; Bangladesh;Relationship


Facebook is transforming lives. Millions of people are using Facebook from the rural areas recently. A report published by Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) revealed social media penetration in rural India doubled in the year 2014. Moreover, 84% of the internet users in India use internet primarily to access social media sites such as Facebook [1]. The neighboring country Bangladesh has similar explosive growth. Facebook serves people differently depending on their sociocultural background. Age, gender, marital status and occupations are important factors that determine Facebook use pattern and the impact. However, their role in shaping up usage pattern is inconclusive. This study provides data regarding the pattern of Facebook use in Bangladesh and explores the relation between Facebook use pattern and demographic factors. Most of the earlier studies reported that females were more interested in Facebook use [2- 5]. However, few studies found opposite [6]. The difference was noticed in motivation and activities. Female used social networking sites for communication with the members of their peer group [7], whereas male used it for social compensation, learning and social identity gratifications. Men used social networking sites for forming new relations while women used it for maintenance of existing relations [8]. Female Facebook users scored higher on scales for social connection and posting of photographs [3] and they were more concerned about privacy issue [9]. However, despite having increased concern about privacy, women were more likely to post a photograph of themselves in their profile and they did not mind having publicly viewable Facebook account, post photos, and post photo albums. Moreover, female spent one hour extra in Facebook everyday than male did [10]. Facebook is most popular among the young people of 18 to 29 year among them 87% used social networking sites it dropped to 39% among the people aged 65 year and above [11,12]. Moreover, the usage pattern changed with age [13]. Moreover, the impact of Facebook in real life and the risk of developing Facebook addiction are not same for every age. Most of the researchers observed young adults particularly college students were at risk of developing problematic internet use [14,15].Teenagers had more friends compared to older users. However, most of the earlier researches were limited to young students [16]. The seniorcitizens were hardly included in these studies. Researchers found usingsocial networking sites negatively correlated with marriage qualityand happiness and it was positively correlated with experiencing atroubled relationship and thinking about divorce [17]. About 65% ofAmerican medical students had Facebook accounts [10] and Pakistaniundergraduate medical students had similar rate [18]. However, togeneralize the rate of Facebook use we need more data from moredeveloped and developing countries. Most of the previous studies wereconfined to students or health professionals. People of other professionslike housewives, scientists, garments workers and retired persons wereexcluded in the earlier researches. Even though social networking siteis a global phenomenon, it is constrained by local conditions suchas culture [19]. For this Facebook usage pattern in the developingcountries, differ from western developed world. However, the SouthEast Asia region suffers dearth of data regarding Facebook use. Therewere few studies on social networking sites in Bangladesh [20-22].These studies had small sample size and mostly restricted among thestudents. Moreover, none the previous studies tried to explore relationbetween demographic factor and Facebook use pattern. This crosssectional study attempt to fill this gap.

Materials and Methods


Study participants were doctors, engineers, scientists, garments workers, students from schools, colleges, universities, unemployed,housewives, businessmen and retired persons.

We used stratified random sampling technique and stratification was based on age, occupation and availability of internet. The inclusion criteria were (a) age 13 years and above and (b) using Facebook for at least one year. Selected individuals were excluded if they had any diagnosed mental disorders or serious physical condition that prevented them from completing the questionnaire. This cross sectional study was conducted from April 2013 to December 2013 at the eleven different sites in Dhaka, Bangladesh: We collected data from a public and a private educational institution from all 3 level of education (school, college and university) plus two professional academic institutions, one research organization and a garments factory. Hundred respondents were interviewed from each of these institutions. Community sample was collected from 100 houses with door-to-door visit. Institutional Review Committee approved the study. See Figure 1 for data collection process. We screened 1546 people from the different sites in their convenient and leisure period. Parental or teacher informed consentwas taken for minors. Among them 343 respondents met our selection criteria. However, two respondents withdrawn themselves from thestudy for time constrain.


Figure 1: Study participation diagram.

Data collection tools

We used a pretested self-applied anonymous semi structured questionnaire for data collection. It was composed of: A plain language explanatory statement to inform the participant about the aims of the study with the risks and benefits associated with participation. A set of four demographic questions relating to age, gender, marital status and occupation. Facebook use and impact related questions. The authors constructed these questions and the questionnaire was pretested on 30 volunteers. We made necessary correction during the pretesting forbetter understanding of the respondents. It was a paper pencil study.

Statistical Analysis

We analyzed the data using IBM Statistical Package for SocialSciences (SPSS) version 21. Chi-square test was done to compare qualitative variables and t-test for comparing means of different groups.Differences in the Facebook use pattern within the same categorieswere analyzed by ANOVA test. Pearson correlation and regressionanalysis was done to find out relations. We carried out all the analysesat 95% confidence interval (CI) and P values 0.05 or less was consideredstatistically significant.


Respondents’ age ranged from 13 to 61 years. The demographic characteristics were presented in Table 1. The study revealed about 14% of respondents used Facebook before 13 year and about 3% of people used Facebook first time after 50 year. The median age of first creating Facebook account was 23 year. Female created Facebook account earlier than male. A respondent spent 118 minutes in Facebook every day. Female spent more times in Facebook. Unmarried and unemployed people enjoyed highest time in Facebook. However, demographic factors failed to reach the level of significance. About 25% of respondents had multiple (2 to 6) Facebook accounts. Among the demographic factors marital status (χ2 =50.77, df =20, p=.001) was significantly related to number of Facebook accounts. Moreover, number of Facebook account was positively correlated (R=.105, R2=.011, p=.05) with total duration of use in a day. When the respondents got a chance to use the internet, about two-third of them checked their Facebook first without doing something else. Among the respondents of middle age group about 50% of respondents checked Facebook and rest checked email. First online activity of the respondent was related significantly with gender (χ2=8.77, df =2, p=.012), marital status (χ2 =22.5, df =8, p=.004and occupation (χ2 =49, df =22, p=.001). In this study, about 90% of the people changed their Facebook status 0-5 times a day. Female changedtheir status more frequent than male (p=.021). Retired people changedFacebook most frequently and the frequency of changing Facebookstatus was significantly related to occupation. In this study respondenthad average 279 Facebook friends. However, divorced people hadthe highest number of average 575 Facebook friends. The number ofFacebook friends were not related to demographic factors, howeverage and marital status were close to level of significance. About 33%of the respondents (n=341) used Facebook just after awaking withoutdoing something else and female did this more frequently. Male usedFacebook more in their offices and females used it at the leisure period.Married people used Facebook about 5 times more than unmarriedin their offices. First log in Facebook in a day was related to gender(χ2=20.46, df=7, p=.005) and marital status (χ2 =59.76, df=28, p=.001).Female used Facebook to communicate, male used Facebook for newsand creating new relations. Motivation for using Facebook was foundsignificantly related to age (χ2=15.756, df =6, p=.015), gender (χ2 =21.61,df =6, p=.001) and marital status (χ2=43.9, df=24, p=.008). Moreover,the actual activity in Facebook found related to sex (χ2 =21.6, df =6,p=.001), marital status (χ2 =43.9, df =24, p=.008) and occupation (χ2=205, df =66, p=.001). About 15% of respondents of the study admittedtheir failure to meet their responsibility due to Facebook use. Female,younger age, university students and married people were morelikely to face this problem. However, the relation between failure inperforming responsibility and demographic factors did not reach thelevel of significance. About 19% of respondents (n=341) consideredthemselves Facebook addicts, among them 37% were 13 to 20 year old.Fifty four percent of the Facebook addicts were unmarried and 41% ofthem were married. About 55% female changed privacy setting. Thedefault privacy setting was related to gender (χ2=4.9, df=1, p=.026).Moreover, respondents having multiple Facebook accounts were morelikely to consider themselves as Facebook addict than those havingsingle Facebook account (χ2=14.44, df=5, p=.013) (Tables 2 and 3).

Character Number (n) Percentage (%)
Age in year    
13-20 98 28
21-30 108 31
31-40 89 26
41-50 31 09
51-61 15 04  
Mean age 27±10.6 (13-61) year    
Male 170 49
Female 171 50
­­­Marital status    
Unmarried 149 43
Married 183 53
Divorced  04    01
Separated   02    0.6
Widow 03 0.9
Unemployed 16 04
Student  48 14
College student 49 14
University student 51    15
Teacher 14 04
Engineer  48 14
Physician 39    11
Scientist/Research worker    35 10
Housewife 23 07
Businessman  14 04
Retired person 03 01
Garments worker 01 0.3

Table 1: Demographic characteristic of the respondents (n=341).

Character  Number (n)  Percentage (%)
Instrument used to access Facebook    
Mobile phone 164 48
Computer-desktop/ laptop 105 31
Both 72 21
Number of Facebook account    
1 257   75
2 61 18
3 11 03
4 05 1.5
5 06     1.8
6 01 0.3
First Use of Facebook in the Day    
Just after awaking 112 33
Before going to Office, 47 14
Before going to class 57 17
At office 48 14
During class 22 07
At evening/ leisure period 35 10
At night 13 04
Just before going to sleep 07 02

Table 2: Facebook use related information (n=341).

All are real life friends of the respondents    
Yes 151 44
No 190 56
Agree with the statement “It is right to make friend with unknown people.”    
Yes 139 41
No 190 59
Member of opposite gender are more among the Facebook friends    
Yes 135 40
No 206 60
Do you change your privacy setting?    
Yes 157 46
No 184 54

Table 3: Impact of Facebook use among the respondents (n=341).


The current study revealed the important role of demographic factors in determining Facebook use pattern and its impact. Fifty-six percent students had Facebook account and only two percent garments workers had it. In Bangladesh, Facebook was restricted to certain group of people like young students due to high internet charge. Moreover, the poor were unable to buy a device that support internet. This scenario was reflected in the wide gap of having a Facebook account among the people of different backgrounds. Facebook use among Bangladeshi students was lower than the earlier findings [18,23]. The lower rate in our study might be observed due to inclusion of students of schools, colleges and universities in combined. The other factors might be higher internet cost, over protective parenting, parental concern of social media and mobile use in Bangladesh. However, with the grace of mobile companies and ongoing government support Facebook is becoming available to the poor. Fifty one percent of doctors had Facebook account and the rate was higher than the findings of Keller et al. study [12] and lower than the finding of Hollinderbäumer et al.[18]. Age was another important factor that determined and influenced a person to create a Facebook account. Facebook was most popular among the people of 18 to 30 year. Considering the legal terms and conditions of Facebook, we included people over 13 year in this study. However, the study revealed that about 14% of the respondents used Facebook before 13 year violating the terms and conditions of the site. They created their account by lying about their date of birth. The children of Dhaka spent their time indoors browsing internet and Facebook, playing video games or watching television. They are more vulnerable to be the victim of cyber bullying, porn addiction, online gambling. A significant variation was observed in first online activity among the people of different age groups. People who were under 30 year and over 50 year checked their Facebook first more frequent than the middle age group. The older people used Facebook as a cost effective easy medium to keep in touch with friends and families. They watched the photos or activities of their children and grandchildren who lived away from them. Facebook has reduced their loneliness. Judd and Kennedy reported that with the increase of social networking sites, the use of other electronic media such as email has declined25. Our study support their statement as we observed respondents logged in Facebook two times more frequently than email. About 70% of respondents used mobile phone to access Facebook. Smart phones and easy availability has accelerated the use of Facebook through smart phones. However, it was lower than the earlier study [26]. About 25% of the respondents created multiple Facebook accounts. They maintainedmultiple accounts to accommodate different types of people in separate accounts. Unmarried and unemployed people were more interested increating multiple Facebook accounts and had more Facebook friends.The youth was found to be involved in various antisocial and politicalactivities through their fake Facebook accounts. A good number ofstudents and sometimes few teachers were arrested in Bangladesh forposting status or photos that hurt the religious or political sentiments.In this study, a respondent had average 279 Facebook friends thatwas higher than the average Facebook friends of a respondents had inUnited States. Bangladeshi user possessed higher number of friends dueto more interactive society and historically Bangladeshis are quick toseize friendship. In this study female respondents had more Facebookfriends than male. Raacke found similar result in their study however,Pfeil et al. found opposite [15,16]. Divorced people had highest numberof Facebook friends. It was not clear whether the excessive involvementin the Facebook leads to divorce or the loneliness after the divorceprovoked them to search more friends. Despite popular perceptionsthat young people disclose a considerable amount of informationonline than adult, our study established no such significant differencein privacy setting among different age groups. However, female weremore concerned about the privacy setting than male. Motivation andactivities in Facebook largely depend on demography. Male and femaleused Facebook for different reasons. Female used Facebook to uploadphoto about two times more frequently than male. The profile photosand other photos plays an important role in initiation friendship.The number of likes and comments in the photos reinforced to postmore and more photos in their Facebook. This creates a competitivevirtual world of getting more comments and likes than others get. Theappearance contingency for self-worth had the strongest relationshipwith the intensity of online photo sharing [27]. Facebook createsglamorous and fascinating virtual world that attract most of the people.People log in Facebook repeatedly just to find how many likes andcomments are getting. Another important concern of recent years wasFacebook addiction. Ulusu reported possible side effect and impact ofsocial networking sites include addiction, waste of time, and money[28]. We observed that about fifteen percent people admitted thatthey faced problem due to excessive Facebook use. It was alarmingthat about 20% of the respondents considered themselves as Facebookaddict. However, we did not use any valid. Facebook addiction scaleto verify the belief. It was the first study in Bangladesh exploring therelation between demographic factors with the Facebook use patternand its impact. We interviewed a number of people from differentsites and backgrounds. However, the cross sectional study designlimits us to infer about causality. The study was self-reporting andit was reported by adolescents to older people, a reporting bias waspossible. The questionnaire was pretested for its consistency andclarity. However, its reliability and validity was not tested. Duringthe pretesting, the questionnaire was found to be consisted and easilyunderstandable. We tried to include people of different backgroundsdespite our efforts it was not possible to include people of all theprofessions. As Facebook is a relatively newer social media, policiesmust evolve as well to keep up with the changes. We recommend thatFacebook to simplify all information regarding privacy strategies andpolicies so that all users, even the youngest ones, easily understand theprivacy-related information. Parents, teacher and employer should becautious about Facebook use of their children, students and employeesas Facebook can hamper the academic, social and occupationalperformance. This study provided some baseline information. Furtherstudies can be conducted on a larger scale, with a more diverse group ofpeople to minimize bias and for better generalization. Moreover, future researchers could explore the Facebook addiction and its pattern. Werecommend to develop a culturally validated and reliable scales forFacebook addiction that will can help in early detection of Facebookaddiction.


Facebook is an important medium of communication even in the developing countries like Bangladesh. There is clear evidence that demographic factors are related to Facebook use pattern and its impact. Children are using Facebook earlier than their eligible age. They are using Facebook in spite of experiencing negative consequences. The negative consequence extends from poor academic performance to Facebook addiction. Facebook addiction is an upcoming social, psychological and public health problem that need to address withproper guidance and care.


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