The differentiating effects of gender have been studied in various fields regarding Internet use due to it being such a basic demographic variable. When comparing Internet usage between men and women, it is clear that men have a much higher rate of usage, exploring a broader range of sites, however, women show a higher frequency of social media usage (Biernatowska et al. 2017). Studies have shown that more often, men play online games, contribute to discussion groups and visit gambling and pornography sites. Conversely, women show more interest in using the Internet for communication purposes which can be achieved through social networking sites such as Facebook (Ono & Zavodny 2016; Joiner et al. 2012).
According to Hargittai (2007), when comparing the use of social media between men and women, the differentiation between the two aren’t statistically significant, however, women are more likely to spend a higher frequency of their daily Internet time on Facebook compared to men. Thompson and Lougheed (2012) found that women also find themselves spending more time on Facebook than intended. These reports include feeling signs of addiction as the effects include having a negative perception of their image when seeing pictures of others, feeling anxiety and stress while on and off the platform and losing sleep. Additionally, women spend more time posting pictures, making status updates, and sending private messages and friend requests (Muscanell & Guadagno 2012). Men, however, show fewer signs of addiction, as they use Facebook for making friends, online dating, learning about events and gaming more than women. (Raacke & Bonds-Raacke 2008; Muscanell & Guadagno 2012; Joiner et al. 2012).
In order to differentiate how men and women use Facebook, it is crucial to understand the different styles of Facebook usage. As stated by (Biernatowska et al. 2017), there are six different styles of Facebook use, all differing among its users. The first style relates to general use which includes everyday activities such as communicating with other users and scrolling through the site as a form of leisure. The second style concerns users who use Facebook solely for the purpose of gaining visibility. This includes posting status updates and media on a daily basis, as these users are most notably celebrities. The third style is associated with gamers who mainly use the platform for gaming purposes, however, this is no longer prevalent as the frequency of playing games on the platform has decreased over recent years.
The fourth style relates to users who pay close attention to how they are perceived on the platform and what they post, creating a picture-perfect representation of themselves. Users who employ the second style are most likely to also utilize this style, as creating a virtual showcase can contribute to more visibility. The fifth style correlates with fan page members who use the platform to receive frequent updates about their subject of interest and contribute to discussions on the page. Lastly, the sixth style concerns users who seek information on the platform such as news. Considering this information, it is essential to recognize how preferred styles differ between men and women and how it could lead to either gender using Facebook more.