Research indicates that male and females are different generally in the use of social media and social networking. Males tend to be more competitive in getting the job done effectively, with strong self regards, and less regards for others, suggesting that males are more oriented on task assignment and completion. Females tend to be more socially oriented and show more regards for others, thus with a higher emotional intelligence on self awareness, social awareness and interperpersonal skills, leading them to become better teachers, coaches which rely much on human relationship building.
From the research here by Kop, Helene & Mak (2011):
“There seemed to be a gender difference in the perception of the value of community building and the organization of communication. The research highlighted a difference between men and women in terms of their communication styles and preferences. Women tended to look for similarities or commonalities (i.e., in issues of language) that could become a source of bonding. In contrast, some men had a tendency to practice one-upmanship, in the sense of trying to keep one step ahead of other participants as competitors. Men were more task-oriented in their use of language, while women put more emphasis on socioemotional dimensions. For example, in one course activity that was taken up by PLENK participants, the female participant tended to play more of an assistant/supportive role and responded in an inclusive way, while her male counterpart tended to delegate task.”
Posting first seems to be a human nature, when sharing, and the looking for some social belonging and recognition, in social networking. I realized that most postings on Social Networking sites such as FB and Twitter that relate to social learning & relationship come predominantly from females, whilst postings on information and research artifacts come equally from males and females. That is only my intuition, based on observation. You could try and analyse the networkers’ postings, and see if there is such a pattern. This seems to me a nice research topic. The questions are: Are males and females different in their intentions in social networking and media learning? What are their differences in terms of goals and motivation? Why?
This study on Facebook provides some interesting insights on why and how people use FB:
Seven unique uses and gratifications were identified –
– social connection
– shared identities
– content gratification
– social investigation
– social network surfing
– status updating
User demographics, site visit patterns and the use of privacy settings were associated with different users and gratification.
A younger user was associated with higher usage level and a greater number of friends.
Females visit more frequently and scores on the photographs and status updates predict frequency of visit to the sites.
In the case of Twitter, the research found a non-power law follower distribution. Among reciprocated users, there were some level of homophily.
Would be interested to know how participants of MOOC (Change 11 and CCK12) are using social media like FB and Twitter.
Kop, R., Fournier, H., Mak, S.F. J. (2011). A Pedagogy of Abundance or a Pedagogy to Support Human Beings? Participant Support on Massive Open Online Courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Vol 12, No. 7 (2011).
Mak, S.F.J. (2012) Facebook or Media