Posted by: kcgadiyar | December 9, 2010

The great Facebook gender divide

The idea for this post came from a post on Gautham’s blog, which can be viewed here.

There is an undercurrent of gender-bias on Facebook. It is not readily apparent, but it has been noticed by a few people and has been commented upon by others, this picture is a good example of what i am talking about:

If you ever decide to look at the comments received on status messages posted by your male friends vs. your female friends, the ratio would roughly be 1:50* (and i think i am underestimating a bit here). The difference i think boils down to the people who comment on the statuses themselves.

The people who comment on status messages and/or display pic changes by guys can normally be divided into 2 categories:

a. Friends interested in the status: For example, a recent status message of mine went up to 46 comments. It was regarding the merits and demerits of the World Cups being awarded to Russia and Qatar. There were 9 different commenters, and each comment had something to do with the topic at hand. Each commenter was also interested in Football and hence knew what he was talking about.

b. Family members: They normally “Like” pics and statuses and will almost never actually comment on stuff.

So you see, straight and simple, 2 categories leading to a few comments here and there.

Now for girls, the scenario completely changes, there are way more categories of commenters here, i will list down a few:

a. The single guy who is cyber-stalking the girl: We all know the kind, he waits and refreshes his news feed every 3 seconds, and the moment he sees something new from the girl, he immediately comments. Sample comments would be “awwwwwwwwwww…. so cute” (on a new display pic) or “Love the status message” (even when the status message may just be “Going to work”). Normally, there are like 5-10** of these for every girl with a relationship status of “Single” on Facebook

b. The (normally male) friend trying too hard: This is the friend who never “Likes” anything, only “Super-likes”, or adds suggestions to a status message (say the girl posts “Loved Inception”, the guy will reply “If you liked that, you will love this” and rattle off 10 other movie names). Anytime i see a guy writing “Super Like” on a status message posted by a girl, i automatically see “Dory the fish”

c. The guy who proposed to the girl once but was rejected by her, or is planning to propose to the girl: This guy will always pitch in with proposals posed as questions. Considering the Inception comment again, a typical response by this guy will be: “Wow, you saw it already? Who did you go with? I am planning on watching it as well, maybe we can plan something with our group sometime if you want to see it again?”. The above sentence roughly translated means “Why didn’t you tell me you were going? Did you go with a group of your female friends or with some guy? How about you and me go watch it together later?”. Whenever i see such a reply written, i always have the urge to reply with this picture:

I always knew i would get a lot of mileage out of this pic

d. Every single girl on her friends list: I am pretty sure there is an unwritten contract between most girls on Facebook which goes “You comment on my status, I will comment on yours”. Without something like this in place, i am at a complete loss to explain how statuses like “:)” and “Woo-hoo” which are put up with no further context given manage  to clutter my news feed even days after they are posted due to the high number of comments. As an aside, messages like 😦 or “So sad” or “Feel angry” should only be allowed with context attached, if people want to fish for sympathy, at least let us know what we should be sympathetic about, else it takes 15 replies before someone finally decides to ask what the frowny face is for.

e: The girls themselves: This is very apparent on a display pic change. It goes something like this – Pic posted -> 1 person comments -> girl replies thanking person -> one more person comments -> girl replies thanking person and so on ad infinitum

f. Friends interested in the status: These are probably the least percentage of the commenters, they actually have something interesting to say, but get drowned out in all the other voices on the status.

And this is not even considering Family, Boyfriends (if applicable) and any other people who may decide to comment. So you see, it is just an empirical fact why female status messages have more replies than male ones do.

*This ratio only applies to single girls and girls whose statuses say “in a relationship”. The ratio for “Engaged” and “Married” girls remains 1:1

**Every statistic which has appeared in this post has been completely fabricated off the top of my head

 

Update:

In the comments of this post Gautham suggested the following: “I posted this link on facebook. Wanna see how it plays out in real life”, to which i had replied “Shouldn’t a girl share it as well, that way we have you as the “Control Group” and the girl as the “Test group””

Unfortunately, the test was never performed because no girl had actually shared the link…. until 2 days ago. I suddenly saw an upward spike in page visits, 60 visits a day became 200+ visits a day, so i did a little searching around on Facebook and found that the link had been shared by 2 girls whom i won’t name here. And well, the stats page speaks for itself:

What else do i need to say, Q.E.D. (I know i have not used Q.E.D. in the right context, but hey artistic license and all that)

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Responses

  1. I posted this link on facebook. Wanna see how it plays out in real life 🙂

    • Shouldn’t a girl share it as well, that way we have you as the “Control Group” and the girl as the “Test group”

  2. True TRUE!

  3. Lol…so true!

  4. Agreed with the observations here.
    More interested to know why are the shaadi.com ads appearing?

  5. dude… nice post!!

  6. nice….

  7. I actually laughed my heart out at “I am pretty sure there is an unwritten contract between most girls on Facebook which goes “You comment on my status, I will comment on yours”” . you nailed it at this point!! funny post and i “super-liked” it. 🙂 🙂

  8. […] Great Facebook Gender Divide – Q.E.D Around a month ago, i wrote the post The Great Facebook Gender Divide which was basically about how Facebook status messages by girls get more comments and views as […]

  9. I am interested to see if the girls who shared it where single, married, committed and how the results would get affected. 🙂

  10. […] The Facebook Gender Divide: The most recent entry on the list, if i had wrote this post 2 days ago, Klueless 6 would have been […]

  11. I yam sharing this….


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