According to researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, materialistic people see and treat their Facebook friends as digital objects and have significantly more friends than people, who are less interested in possessions.
Lead study author Phillip Ozimek said that materialistic people use Facebook more frequently because they tend to objectify their Facebook friends -- they acquire Facebook friends to increase their possession.
"Facebook provides the perfect platform for social comparisons, with millions of profiles and information about people. And it's free -- materialists love tools that do not cost money," Ozimek added.
The team first conducted an online questionnaire with 242 Facebook users.
The questionnaire was asked from the participants to rate their agreement with statements in order to calculate their Facebook activity (such as "I'm posting photographs"), social comparison orientation ("I often compare how I am doing socially"), materialism ("My life would be better if I owned certain things I don't have"), objectification of Facebook friends ("Having many Facebook friends contributes more success in my personal and professional life") and instrumentalisation of Facebook friends ("To what extent do you think Facebook friends are useful in order to attain your goals?").
The results suggested that the link between materialism and Facebook activity can be partly explained by materialists displaying a stronger social comparison orientation, having more Facebook friends and objectifying and instrumentalising their friends more intensely.
For materialists, Facebook is a tool to learn how far away they are from their goal to become wealthy.
The findings appear in the journal of Heliyon. (ANI)