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Study: Women post Facebook photos to raise self-worth

Is the woman in your life posting a lot of photos on Facebook lately? It might be a sign that her self-worth needs a boost.The Atlantic reports that University at Buffalo professor Michael Stefanone recently shared the details of a study which tried to establish a link between self-worth and social networking behavior.What he discovered is that in many cases, a woman's tendency to post a great

Is the woman in your life posting a lot of photos on Facebook lately? It might be a sign that her self-worth needs a boost.

The Atlantic reports that University at Buffalo professor Michael Stefanone recently shared the details of a study which tried to establish a link between self-worth and social networking behavior.

What he discovered is that in many cases, a woman's tendency to post a great deal of photos on Facebook and similar sites is influenced by her ideas of self-worth:

To determine social media behaviors based on gender, the study had 311 participants fill out a questionnaire measuring their contingencies of self worth. It also asked of their typical behaviors on Facebook. Not only did the study show that women identify more strongly with their image and appearance, but it suggested that they use Facebook to express this association.

Since not everyone's definition of self-worth is the same, the study did make it a point to define two distinct types of the concept first — as Jezebel mentions:

[T}he authors of the study defined two kinds of self-worth — private, which "related to more traditional, personal domains like family, virtue, and God's love," and public, "focused on approval, appearance and competition concepts." 

But despite the existence of those two different groups, the results remained the same across the board:

Women tended to spend more time managing their profiles and shared more photos online. This was the case regardless of which dimension of self-worth influenced their behavior, and regardless of the size of their offline social support network.

In other words: Our self-worth rules our online behavior.

We're not so sure that self-worth is the only issue to consider when it comes to women — or men, for that matter — and how they interact with social networks, but we are a bit amused that there's now a study that we can whip out to back up comments such as "Oh, you just posted that photo to fish for compliments!"

Of course, it is worth noting that even Stefanone's study does acknowledge that not everyone is out to boost her self-esteem when sharing photos online:

[P]eople may share a large number of photos because their self-worth is at stake, or they may simply be interested in photography and use these tools to showcase their work.

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter, loves to be liked on Facebook, and can't resist a good social media study first thing in the morning.