Age differences in online social networking
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Age Differences in Online Social Networking. Rajiv Arjan Center for HCI Design Ulrike Pfeil Center for HCI Design Panayiotis Zaphiris Center for HCI Design CHI 2008 2008/06/30. Outline. Introduction Methods Discussion Conclusion. Introduction.

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Age differences in online social networking

Age Differences in Online Social Networking

Rajiv Arjan Center for HCI Design

Ulrike Pfeil Center for HCI DesignPanayiotis Zaphiris Center for HCI DesignCHI 2008



  • Introduction

  • Methods

  • Discussion

  • Conclusion


  • This study investigates the differences and similarities of old people and teenagers participating in

Introduction cont

  • In particular, we are interesting in:

    • Any age-related differences in the number of MySpace friends users have.

    • Analyzing any age-related differences in the way people represent themselves on MySpace.


  • Development of automated web crawlers:We collected random profile IDs of 50 teenage users and 50 older users.

  • Content Analysis:We then conducted a content analysis on the “About Me”.

Methods cont

  • The actual quantitative analysis was done using the “LIWC”(Linguistic Inquiry Word Count) tool.

  • LIWC is a contextual analysis tool which calculates the degree to which people use different categories of words.

Methods cont1

  • Self reference

  • Social words

  • Positive emotion words

  • Negative emotion words

  • Overall cognitive words

  • Articles

  • Big words


  • Age-related differences of friend network:

Discussion cont

  • The results indicate that teenagers most have friends age 16-18 and the mean number of friends is 95.

  • Old people tend to have friends from various age groups.The total number of friends we found that older people have on average 18 friends.

Discussion cont1

  • Age-related differences in the self-representation:

Discussion cont2

  • The results indicated that teenagers use more self references, negative emotions, and cognitive words.

  • Older people use more articles and big words than teenagers.


  • We identified significant differences between the friend networks of teenagers and older users.

  • We also identified age-related differences in the way people verbally present themselves online.