Alyss Bowen | Social Media Editor | Tuesday, 10 January 2017

This Creepy Study Is How Facebook Knows Whether You\\\'re Single Or Not

This Sneaky Study Is How Facebook Knows Whether You're Single Or Not

The Debrief: Does anyone else find it incredibly intrusive that Facebook are monitoring our ‘positive emotions?’

Facebook knows a lot about us. They know who visited our Facebook pages, what posts you’ve liked, and all your friend anniversaries. Oh, and they also know if you’re single or not. 

In a new study, carried out by Facebook themselves, called 'The Formation of Love,’ Facebook suggested that the frequency in which we post can determine if you’re in a relationship or not. Apparently people who are single are more likely to post two times a day, whereas those who post less are more likely to be loved up. 

By researching a group of people who changed their status from 'Single' to 'in a relationship' they observed the number of timeline posts shared between future couples from their Facebook anniversary date. They discovered that when the relationship first starts, the number of posts shared decreases - with a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. So basically in the first 12-days of hanging out with your fancy new boyfriend, you’re probably flirting online lots and then you start actually hanging out in real life - so you post less. 

They didn’t stop there - by using statistical methods to automatically analyse key words and interactions, they counted the number of words expressing ‘positive emotions,’ like ‘love’, ‘nice’ and ‘happy.’ And apparently as the decrease in online interactions went down, the positive messages went up. 

I’m going to stop right there and say, sorry but what the f? Does anyone else find it incredibly intrusive that Facebook are monitoring our ‘positive emotions?’ I know we sign up and essentially give our online life away to their data team, but if we’re single we don’t want to see a set of numbers reminding us we might spend Valentines Day alone. Nor do we want to see how basic we are using words like ‘nice,’ ‘love’ and ‘happy’ as we chat to our new beau online.

As far as research goes, this one creeps the hell out of me. Also, between ‘1.67 posts’ and '1.53’ is literally nothing. It’s 0.14th of a post. How can we determine a relationship status on 0.14th of a post. How far are Facebook going to investigate into our lives? Enough guys, focus on the fake news problem you have. 

Like this? You might also be interested in…

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How We Turned 2016 Into A Meme And Blamed It For Everything 

This Is How Facebook’s New Fake News Policies Will Affect Your Feed 

Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen 

Tags: Facebook et al