Author(s): Nicole L Muscanell, Rosanna E Guadagno
The present study examined the influence of gender and personality on individuals’ use of online social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace. Participants were 238 undergraduate students who reported being members of Facebook, MySpace, or both. Based on prior research examining online behavior, we expected that gender and scores on the Big Five personality scale would moderate online social networking behavior. The results supported our predictions. Specifically, men reported using social networking sites for forming new relationships while women reported using them more for relationship maintenance. Furthermore, women low in agreeableness reported using instant messaging features of social networking sites more often than women high in agreeableness, whereas men low in openness reported playing more games on social networking sites compared to men high in openness. Overall, these results indicate the importance of examining individual differences in online behavior.