New research suggests that we are all pretty good at tracking our social media footprints, even if we’re not always as good as we think.
Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia and the University at Albany in New York, found that we use more social media and social networks to communicate with our friends, family and colleagues than we do to share our news and information.
“The results suggest that we may not be as good at detecting people in social networks as we may think,” said lead author and assistant professor of communication and media studies Daniel Schleicher.
“It seems that our social networks may actually help us get better at identifying our friends.”
The researchers say the results are important not just because they suggest that people tend to use more than they would with social networks but because it also shows that we can use these tools to improve our social interactions.
The researchers examined a database of 1.3 million Twitter followers and used social media tracking to look at the relationship between social networks and users’ news consumption.
They found that people who regularly use Twitter are more likely to be “highly engaged” with the news on social media, but that people with fewer followers are less likely to use the platform as their primary source of news.
They also found that users with more followers tend to spend more time reading news stories and less time watching videos and videos posted by their followers.
These findings suggest that it’s possible to get a better handle on who is following whom, how much they spend on news and how they use social media.
“People may be more likely than others to share news and content that is shared to their followers and that is then shown on social networks,” Schleick said.
“If people share a lot of content on social networking, then that is potentially a signal that they may be engaging with those people in a more engaged way.”
The findings, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, could have practical implications for how we manage our social lives, as well as for the way we think about social networks.
“We are all social creatures,” said Dr. Schleicaher.
“It may be that the more people are engaged, the more they may share and the more content they share, the better the results.”
In addition to the research findings, Schleiccher said that the findings also show that social media can be a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family.
“I think there are some important lessons from this research,” he said.
“We are learning more about how we interact with each other and with our loved ones.
It may be a great way to help us to stay connected, and also help us learn more about what is going on in our world.”
Schleiche said that more research is needed to understand what these social networks actually are, but said it was likely that social networks are just another way for people to meet people.
“This research is just one way to understand how we use social networks, but we do think that they can be used for good, to help people to better connect, to learn more, to share their content, to stay in touch and to learn about the world around them,” he added.