Out of work? Can’t find a job? Maybe a little time on Facebook could help.
Usually the last thing you would encourage someone to do while they’re out of work is to waste time on websites like Facebook, but according to a report released by their in house data scientists Moira Burke and Robert Kraut, communicating with family and friends through their service may actually increase your chances of landing employment.
The study confirms what many of us have already experienced on our own; how many times have you seen someone post a status about losing a job or getting laid off? Personally, I’ve even seen a person get another job within an hour of telling everyone they had lost theirs–in the same comment thread of the original status. Facebook has been able to use these types of interactions (measured by a computer that doesn’t read the content itself, but rather makes the connection between to people who work together compared against the amount of time since they had posted on anything the other had to say.
The problem arises when you compare the results from the two subgroups; “strong” and “weak” tie relationships. Those who kept up more conversation with those in the weak-tie category would have a significantly lower chance than those who used the service for contacting family or strong-tie friends for help with things like rides to interviews, borrowed clothing, and reviews of resumes.
Another issue they found with the hypothesis is that in certain cases, being on Facebook and having your personal info made available to everyone who looks at your page pressured people into feeling stressed because they weren’t able to update their friends on a new place of work. They found that the social expectation of having a job on its own was actually more of a problem in today’s constantly connected society.
Either way, it’s clear that social networks are affecting the way we feel about our employment in more ways than ever before.