Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type




First Advisor

Guy Burgess


This study aims to explore whether or not patterns of communication that have been established in face-to-face communication based on gender are maintained or transformed in the communication behaviors engaged in by users on the social networking site, Facebook. A multimethodological lens was employed to examine Facebook communication behaviors via a content analysis of Facebook posts, as well as an online questionnaire that was filled out by users of the site. Through the survey and content analysis, I found that there were in fact gender differences in the communication behaviors that users engage in on Facebook. Furthermore, I found that the general patterns of these communication behaviors mirror those that have been established in face-to-face communication; more specifically, I found that women tend to communicate in more interpersonally oriented ways, while men tend to communicate in more task and individually oriented ways while using Facebook. These findings can provide some insight into how people communicate and what may influence these behaviors; therefore, these findings have implications for the fields of both communication and sociology. As a growing part of our media environment, Facebook is changing the nature of social relationships and online communication. Thus, this has become a rich new context for exploring communication and how behaviors that are performed online compare to those that are performed offline.