'Like' At Your Own Risk?


| 8 Comments

This article in Psychology today caught my eye: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psyched/201303/the-trail. It is entitled "The Like Trail" with a subtitle of: "What you Like on Facebook says more than you know." As an avid Facebook user and a psychology major, I couldn't help but dig deeper. Liking things on Facebook is something I try to abstain from because among my list of 900 'friends,' I'd be lucky if ten care even a little bit about my personal interests and preferences. On occasion though, I find myself unable to resist the urge to click the 'like' button when my favorite actress or a recipe for snickerdoodles pops up on my newsfeed. I always wondered if this caused people to make inferences about my personal life. If I like a type of cookie on Facebook, are people who haven't seen in years going to assume I eat unhealthy foods? Maybe it means I make poor lifestyle choices and don't care enough about my physique. Come to think of it, I really haven't been the gym in a while. So, it's probably safe to say I chose to read this article to find out if it's true: does what people Like on Facebook reveal more about them they mean to. Could I unintentionally be sharing information about my personal life to strangers?

According to the article, researchers could accurately measure personal attributes of people based on Facebook Likes. The data determining whether or not someone is White or Black, , is male or female, and is democrat or republican seems to be easier to detect and is believable to me. However, the scales with which the data are measured are not straightforward or comprehensive. The first slew of data's accuracy "probability of correctly categorizing two randomly selected people, one from each of the two paired categories." To me, this is not necessarily indicative of much. If accuracy is 65% for 'Uses Drugs," then did one of the people partake in occasional recreational drug use when the researchers assumed consistent drug use or did both randomly selected individuals partake in heavy drug use when the researchers assumed occasional drug use? Other data assessing Likes being correlated with personality type are even more ambiguous. The data could largely be based on volunteer bias as well. To me, the results are inconclusive. While 'liking' something on Facebook could be a strong indicator of your personal preferences, I don't think it provides a peephole into your personal life or reveals much about your character. Since what I like on Facebook is public knowledge, I only like items that I wouldn't be ashamed of if the immediate world knew about my appreciation. I assume that most Facebook users are aware of this and screen what they like as well. If people are going to assume someone is unsatisfied with life based on a Facebook Like, then maybe they should re-evaluate their own happiness. Whenever I see a friend has 'liked' a new meme or an old movie, I only take notice if we have a shared interest in the item. I have yet to be enlightened or provoked by a simple Facebook Like. Just yesterday, I accidentally 'liked' Miley Cyrus. 

catcompp.jpg


8 Comments

I find this very interesting. I was scrolling through my own Facebook the other day and reminisced back to 2009 when everyone had the obsession of "liking" hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of meaningless and stupid Facebook pages (which for the most part, I didn't like.) Even though, I went through "compulsive liking" phase in my freshman year of high school, it still haunts my Facebook page today. I've recently tried to begin to "unlike" things that aren't the greatest for my online image or that I just don't have an interest in anymore. In addition, I've began to sift through my Facebook friends, deleting those whom I think would be the one's to use my own Facebook as a "threat" to me.
If you would like to learn more on how to clean up your Facebook page, click on the link below:
http://mashable.com/2010/04/08/clean-up-facebook/

Any data they collect is pretty much always used for advertising purposes I believe. After a while, they seem to give you ads that actually relate to you and your interests on your news feed. One of the reasons it's free is because they make so much money off the advertising. Here's an interesting article I found about Facebook and data mining.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/24/creepy-facebook/

Michelle,
This article brings up a relevant piece of advice that many adults always warn us about: be careful what you post on social media. As you made clear in your blog, everyone can see what your posting, liking, and commenting on. Its especially prevalent for us as college students because future employers go to look at these things. If they come across one sloppy drunken picture of us that could minimize our chances greatly of receiving a job. Everyone is prowling around social media cites now too. One easy click of a thumbs up sign and easily change our lives!

Any data they collect is pretty much always used for advertising purposes I believe. After a while, they seem to give you ads that actually relate to you and your interests on your news feed. One of the reasons it's free is because they make so much money off the advertising. Here's an interesting article I found about Facebook and data mining.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/24/creepy-facebook/

This blog really intrigued me because I never once thought that something I "liked" on facebook could affect me in any other way than my "friends" seeing I'm a fan of roller coasters and Breaking Bad. I agree that besides a few personality traits, to come to a conclusion about anyone by their facebook likes would be completely ignorant and inconclusive.

This is so what I was JUST thinking right now. Pretty recently, I started to see the notifications from the pages I liked a few years back. And they were posting things that are so inappropriate to even see, or very disgusting that made me almost vomit. So I just went through the pages I liked and had to unlike a bunch of them. I don't even though why I liked "When boys like you" page. Thankfully there are some efforts trying to ban things on facebook now. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10285422/Facebook-nurse-banned-for-inappropriate-postings.html

I am addicted to Facebook and I think that what you like very well reflects who you are. I just got into Vine and I think their revine is like Facebook's like. It shows what kind of things grab your attention and make you laugh!

I am addicted to Facebook and I think that what you like very well reflects who you are. I just got into Vine and I think their revine is like Facebook's like. It shows what kind of things grab your attention and make you laugh!

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Immortality
A very big topic in science today is if we can one day achieve immortality. According to some of…
Life after death
I'm sure you have heard stories of people on their death bed who have come back to life after…
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
We have all heard the expression, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." My question is, does eating…

Old Contributions