Hi, well here you go, if you missed it, a report by a Reapleaf, reviewed by Blow of the NYT talking about on line social media usage. Beyond the usual questions about methodology and verification–how do you know who’s telling the truth if you don’t interview them directly, but lets set that aside for the moment.
This studies most interesting references are to the extent to which people lie about things online. This would certainly make it hard to know what one was talking about now wouldn’t it, however, if we accept that this study says there more men athan women utilizing these social media for relationship maintenance, where as men use it for business as opposed to personal relationships. Well sounds like it’s all about relationships however you cut it. Also, most interestly, the conclusion, based on what in depth data I don’t know, is that men do transactions, while women do relationships, oh really, could have concluded that with out a study couldn’t we—Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, of course he didn’t do any real  research either.
Dr. Media says, its about time we started to look at these social media, however if we really wantto begin to understand them lets do some real research.

A Profile of Online Profiles – By the Numbers Blog – NYTimes.com

September 9, 2008, 3:06 pm
A Profile of Online Profiles
By Charles M. Blow

I recently created a Facebook account. My kids thought it was hysterical. They said that I was too old. I’m only 38, but as far as they are concerned, Moses was my best friend in kindergarten.

Being a numbers guy, this got me interested in procuring hard data on social network users…and their behavioral traits while logged on. Here is some of what I found:

1. GENDER: According to a RapLeaf study released in July of 49.3 million people, 20 percent more females used social networks than men (this surprised me). The biggest disparity was for people under 25. In my age range, 35 to 40, men outnumbered women (see chart above).

According to an April Study by RapLeaf, men use social networking more for business and women more for socializing. From the report:

“Men tend to be more transactional and less relationship building when it comes to their friends on social networks. Women tend to have slightly more friends on average.”

2. BEST “HANDLES”: When it came to dating sites, things really got interesting. In April, The Times of London reported on a study by Dr. Monica Whitty, “a lecturer in cyber-psychology,” which revealed the names or “handles” that garnered the most numerous responses among online daters. Here’s what it said:

“Playful and flirtatious names such as “fun2bwith” or “i’msweet” were ranked top by both men and women daters as those they would most like to contact. Physical descriptors such as “cutie” or “blueeyes” were close behind. ‘These names suggest an outgoing or fun nature, or clarify the user’s positive physical appearance,’ said Dr Monica Whitty.”

But, there seemed to be some gender imbalances in the names:

“However she advised female lonely hearts to avoid screen names which attempt to be classy, or show how clever they are. Males daters said they would be less likely to contact screen names such as ‘wellread’ or ‘welleducated,’ although the study found women were more drawn to names that suggested men were cultured. ‘Less flirtatious names may be more appealing to women because they are wary of men who might be using the site to find one-night stands rather than long-term relationships,’ Dr Whitty said.”

3. LYING According to a study by entitled “Separating Fact From Fiction: An Examination of Deceptive Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles” that was published this year in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, there is quite a bit of lying going on in online profiles. And, men lie more than women. Shocker!

It also turns out that people online are more accepting of some lies than others. From the study:

“Participants believed that lying about relationship information is less socially acceptable than lying about any other category. … Men considered it more acceptable than women to lie about their social status … [and] found it more acceptable than women to lie about their occupation, education and marginally about their relationship status.”

Below are some graphs from his report. Note how almost all women understate their weight and most men overstate their height. Typical.