Making friends on Facebook is associated with higher levels of social support. Those who made the most frequent status updates also received more emotional support.
In our phone survey, we asked SNS users a variety of questions about their close friends on and offline, the kind of support they received from their friends, the level of diversity of their social circles, and their civic and political activity. We matched the answers to those survey questions to data in these users’ Facebook logs and then analyzed the relationship between certain activities on Facebook and the social lives of these users.
One key finding is that Facebook users who received more friend requests and those that accepted more of those friend requests tended to report that they received more social support/assistance from friends (on and offline). There was also a weak, but positive relationship between receiving and approving friendship requests, as well as posting status updates, and higher levels of emotional support, such as help with a personal problem.
Tagging Facebook friends in photos is associated with knowing more people from diverse backgrounds and having more close relationships – off of Facebook
There is a statistically positive correlation between frequency of tagging Facebook friends in photos, as well as being added to a Facebook group, and knowing people with more diverse backgrounds off of Facebook. These are relatively weak relationships, but they still are statistically significant. Similarly, from our sample, those who tagged Facebook friends in photos more frequently also reported that they had a larger number of people with whom they could discuss important matters (on or off of Facebook).
A wide range of activities on Facebook are associated with attending political meetings
Those users from our sample who are intensive Facebook users are more likely to report that they attended a political meeting or rally. The Facebook activities associated with attending a meeting/rally included: having more Facebook friends, having more friends-of-friends, being added to a Facebook group or adding someone else to a group, sending more personal messages, receiving more wall posts, tagging more friends in photos, and being tagged themselves in photos.
Those who participate in Facebook groups are more likely to try to persuade someone to vote for a specific candidate
Among these users, participation in Facebook groups, either by being added to a group or adding someone else, is associated with trying to influence someone to vote in a specific way.