Strange but true, Facebook User Engagement is Related with Country Uncertainty Avoidance Score

As I am writing the book about consumer behavior and social media, I’ve just noticed that there’s a strange relationship between uncertainty avoidance and Facebook usage. Comscore releases the avg. hours of user enagement on Facebook all around the world. The world avg. 5.2 hours (coincidentally the avg. in the US is also 5.2). I assume they measure the time users do something on Facbeook “actively” not having the website open in the background. Anways, for those who are in the know, Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social scientist, whose famous work was cited more than 10,000 has these cultural dimensions where all major countries’ 5 major cultural value dimensions are compared to each other and indexed by a number between 0 and 100. So I just ran a correlation analysis and between these cultural dimensions and the weekly facebook usage intensity. As it turns out, Uncertainty avoidance is the best indicator of user engagement, in those countries where uncertainty avoidance is the norm  people use Facebook more.


I expected a relationship between collectivism and Facebook usage because, the more peopel close to each other, the more they value togetherness and extended families groups, the more opportunities they have to use Facebook. Additionally, peope in uncertainty avoiding countries tend to stay away from risk and reject new innovations. On the other hand once an innovation becomes the norm then everyone embraces it and rapidly adopts it. So it makes some sense why Uncertainty avoidance is related with Facebook usage intensity.

We can also speculate that , not using Facebook makes people less certain about the future since they may not be able to find out what other people think, feel and do in an another way.

FYI the Pearson correlation coefficient for the two variables, uncertainty avoidance and Facebook usage is r=502. This is a very high coefficient considering the fact that teh sample size is only 18. Additionally, I compared the average scores of the top 9 and the bottom 9 countries and it seems like collectivism is also related with Facebook usage intensity though the difference was not significantly different.


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