It turns out materialists are interested in collecting Facebook friends and likes as another symbol of status.
According to a new paper from researchers at Germany’s Ruhr-University Bochum, materialistic people treat their Facebook friends as “digital objects,” and have a greater need to compare themselves with others. The study’s lead author Phillip Ozimek concluded that materialists “acquire Facebook friends to increase their possession… Facebook provides the perfect platform for social comparisons, with millions of profiles and information about people.”
These findings were based on the results of an online survey of more than 500 people. This supports what they call their “Social Online Self-regulation Theory” (or SOS-T) – an online variation on Self-Regulation Theory (SRT) in which one consciously guides their own thoughts, behaviors, and feelings to reach goals. In this same way, social media can be used as a tool to achieve one’s goals – one friend at a time.