Is it surprising that those with high materialistic values, use Facebook more frequently than the rest of us?

Due to the high number of users — there are now over 2.07 billion monthly active Facebook users — the networking site now offers a new opportunity to examine social behaviour. There are many studies that have investigated the different factors on why we use Facebook. But now, in an aim to determine how dangerous social media use can be (and probably how shallow we all are) a new study held by Heliyon has discovered that the higher people’s chronic materialism, the more Facebook friends they have.

It’s noted that “Materialists use Facebook more frequently, because they are eager to compare themselves with other users, and have more Facebook friends, whom they can objectify…”  said lead author Phillip Ozimek. “Our findings suggest that Facebook can be used as a means to an end in a way of self-regulatory processes, like satisfying of materialistic goals.”

Participants were asked to state how much they agreed with a series of statements that reflected their Facebook activity levels. They were also asked about their levels of materialism such as: “my life would be better if I owned certain things I don’t have” (which seems a bit vague) and “having many Facebook friends contributes to more success in my personal and professional life”.

To further explain their report, the scientists developed The Social Online Self-Regulation Theory, which suggests that people use social media as a tool to both monitor and achieve their goals. The report’s overall conclusion is debatable, but it does highlight how important influence and  power within political and community circles is to social media users. We’re not sure about you, but with the rise of social Influencers, we’d be interested in reading the same report if it were based on Instagram.

Read the full report here.