Independent regulator Ofcom’s research into social networking not only provided worrying statistics about how children use the sites, but also enabled them to come up with five categories of social networker.
From attention seekers to functionals via attention seekers, Ofcom reckons that everyone who uses social networks fits into one of their five groups.
• Alpha Socialisers – (a minority) people who used sites in intense short bursts to flirt, meet new people, and be entertained.
• Attention Seekers – (some) people who crave attention and comments from others, often by posting photos and customising their profiles.
• Followers – (many) people who joined sites to keep up with what their peers were doing.
• Faithfuls – (many) people who typically used social networking sites to rekindle old friendships, often from school or university.
• Functionals – (a minority) people who tended to be single-minded in using sites for a particular purpose.
Interestingly the research didn’t stop there – it also managed to categorise non-users of social networks into those concerned about safety, the technically inexperienced (noobs?), and intellectual rejecters.
Anyway, we are feeling a little pigeon-holed so we’re going to get back to craving attention and comments from others while customising our profile.