The research question presented in this paper are as
follows: Question one. How much time do students actually spend on Facebook on
their computer? Question two. What is the relationship between self-reported
Facebook usage and actual usage as collected through monitoring software?
The results, Seventy-three percent of the participants were
female. The mean age of the participants was 28. The age of participants ranged
from 18 to 51, though 62% were between 18 and 24 years old.
Students reported spending an average of 145 min per day on
Facebook. They also reported checking Face-book an average of 7 times per day.
Students re-ported spending an average of 73 min per day using Twitter, 114 min
per day using email, and 167 min per day searching for information. Lastly,
students reported spending 117 min per day using their cell phones to go
Students who reported spending more time on Facebook
actually spent more time on the site than students who reported lower estimates
even though they vastly overestimated their Facebook time. Students
overestimated the time they spent on Facebook by an average of 2 h per day. Put
another way, even though students re-ported spending about 2½ h per day, they
were actually spending an average of 3 h per week on Facebook.
However, there are several limitations in this
study. First was the possibility that students who chose to install the
software had unmeasured characteristics that they did not share with those who
declined to participate and that these characteristics might have influenced
Facebook use. Another limitation of this study is the possibility of observer effects
or that students behaved differently because they knew their Internet
activities were being monitored called the “Hawthorne effect”. A related limitation was the possibility that
students used other devices to access their Facebook account not to circumvent
the monitor, but as part of their regular pattern of technology use