Tolerance on Facebook: Exploring Network Diversity and Social Distance

Lee Farquhar (bios)
Samford University

Theresa Davidson
Samford University


This study examines Facebook usage, network composition, and desired social distance from groups often perceived as the “other”.  Specifically, we examine attitudes toward Atheists, Muslims, and Gays. Findings indicate that social network composition (ie - network diversity, number of unique groups, number of Facebook friends) plays a significant role in participants’ desired social distance from said groups. Generally, these findings suggest that increasing diversity in a Facebook network may lead to a decrease in prejudice.


Facebook’s number of users has grown to over 1.39 billion users as of December 2014 (Facebook newsroom). Certainly, it is a worldwide company, allowing one’s social network to experience potential expansion that has never before been possible with such ease. With very few degrees of separation, and with the relative ease of a few mouse-clicks, a Facebooker could potentially become Facebook friends with strangers from other lands, from unfamiliar cultures, and who speak different languages. Facebook’s social world is now filled with a broad range of demographics. With all of this potential diversity in one’s social network, we seek to examine the impact of Facebook on the Facebooker’s general tolerance and acceptance levels. Essentially, is Facebook making us more tolerant of difference?

Facebook’s meteoric rise in popularity has brought with it a slew of studies. Many have focused on audience, identity, and the tensions that come with Facebook activity (Binder, Howes, & Sutcliffe, 2009; boyd, 2010; Hogan, 2010; Lampinen et al, 2011; Lampinen et al, 2009; Marwick & boyd, 2011; Ozenc & Farnham, 2011; Stutzman et al, 2012). However, most of these studies focus on privacy, disclosure levels and other boundary regulation, and tensions that arise from family and friends co-mingling on the site. Generally, they emphasize what the individual can do to manage their experiences. The present study, however, is focused on what the Facebook experience does to the user. A gap in the literature is present with regard to social distance, contact theory, and the diversity in one’s social network.

Most examinations of diversity in a social network have leaned toward positive outcomes, particularly regarding social capital (Binder et al, 2009; Ellison, Steinfield, Lampe, 2007; Steinfield, Ellison, Lampe, 2008; Valenzuela, Park, and Kee, 2009). Generally, the discussion on this side stems from Granovetter’s (1977, 1983) canonic strength of weak ties argument. Having more individuals with unique backgrounds and assets raises one’s social capital.

On the other side of the coin, there are some (though few) dystopianists that argue Facebook – and other aspects of digital life – are pulling society into social isolation. Concepts such as the interpersonal divide (Bugeja, 2005), alone together (Turkle, 2011) and the daily me  (Negroponte, 1996, explained in a 2009 NY Times op-ed piece) suggest that individuals might have unprecedented access to others and information, but we are losing personal and physical contact, are demanding more of others but not willing to give of ourselves, and are becoming engrossed in our own solipsistic worlds. Further, we are becoming unsympathetic to others, viewing them merely as resources at our disposal (Wellman studies).

Clearly, this debate is larger than what can be settled by a single study. However, the present research seeks to explore further the role of network diversity with regard to a Facebooker’s tolerance of others, and several other identity-management concepts.

Conceptual Framework

Facebook Intensity and number of unique groups

To begin the examination of social distance and network diversity, we are first including some baseline measurements that speak to one’s Facebook usage and network makeup. Research on online communities now reaches back decades (Boydand Ellison, 2007), and Facebook specifically has garnered much scholarly attention. Further, the sizeable set of research on Facebook, in particular, has resulted in a consistent measure to examine Facebook usage and involvement level (Binder et al, 2009; Ellison, Steinfield, Lampe, 2007; Steinfield, Ellison, Lampe, 2008; Valenzuela, Park, and Kee, 2009).

The Facebook Intensity Scale focuses on how important Facebook is to an individual by combining number of Facebook friends, time spent on the site, and with a series of Likert statements such as “Facebook has become a part of my daily routine.” In sum, having a bigger network of Facebook friends, lengthier sessions spent on the site, and deeper personal involvement on Facebook leads to higher Facebook Intensity scores. For this study, given the importance of connections with individuals, we will also examine the number of Facebook friends as a standalone variable.

Past research has typically associated higher Facebook Intensity with social benefits, particularly in terms of bridging and bonding social capital (see especially Ellison, et al, 2007), and, generally, we anticipated the benefit of increased network diversity in the present study (along with other, related variables).

Network Diversity

Network diversity requires the inclusion of multiple sub-groups within a network. It is quite logical, then, that a larger social network on Facebook would contain more sub-groups as well as more members of each subgroup. To examine the number of unique social subgroups present within one’s Facebook network, we rely on a measure used by McCarty et al (2001) to determine network size. The measure effectively asks a participant to identify the number of unique groups present in their network. In addition to Number of Unique Groups, we include Network Diversity as a standalone variable.

For the purposes of this study, we separate diversity into four potential categories of “others” (these include sexual orientation, social class, religion, and race). For each of these areas we asked participations to assess how much of their Facebook network was similar to them. For example, a question about racial diversity read, “About how many of the people in your Facebook network do you feel are the same race as you?” This produced both a measure of perceived diversity based on the single item (race, in the example) and, when combined with the other categories, an overall diversity score.

Using the same categories that were applied in the Network Diversity metric, we assessed change in network diversity over the past five years. Participants were asked how their current network compares to five years ago on each of the four diversity measures. Five years was selected as the period of change because our sample is made up of college students who have, in that time, made the transition from high school to college.  Ten years seemed too large of a span and less than five years would result in an examination of college-years-only for a portion of our sample. This measure was intended to assess the perceived change in diversity over time. 

Given their similarities, it is very likely that the number of unique groups and Facebook Intensity will have a strong correlation. Additionally, it is expected that Network Diversity and change would also be positively associated with Facebook Intensity and the Number of Unique Groups within a given network. Lastly, we anticipated that Diversity Change and Network Diversity would be positively associated.

H1: Facebook intensity, the number of Facebook Friends, and the Time Spent on Facebook are positively associated with Number of Unique Groups

H2: Facebook intensity, the number of Facebook Friends, and the Time Spent on Facebook are positively associated with Network Diversity

H3: Facebook intensity, the number of Facebook Friends, and the Time Spent on Facebook are positively associated with Diversity Change

H4: Number of Unique Groups is positively associated with Network Diversity

H5: Number of Unique Groups is positively associated with Diversity Change

H6: Diversity Change is positively associated with Network Diversity

Social Distance and Contact Theory

Social distance is defined as “the degree of sympathetic understanding that exists between two persons or between a person and a group (personal distance or personal-group distance)” (Bogardus, 1933). The social distance measure, originally developed by Emory Bogardus (1933), has been used in various forms as a way to capture negative sentiment toward members of different racial or ethnic groups (Durrheim, 2011; Brocket et al., 2010; Lee et al., 1996; Odell et al., 2005). The measure is designed to capture the amount of physical or social distance desired from someone who possesses a group membership different from one’s own. Social distance measures should represent an underlying bias in favor of one’s own group, thus, a bias against those perceived to be members of an out-group. Indeed, the Bogardus scale has been used consistently since its development and has been useful in tracking the decrease in prejudice against various ethnic groups over time in the U.S. (Owen, Eisner, & McFaul, 1977; Parillo & Donaghue, 2005).

The Bogardus scale has also been used to assess attitudes toward other perceived out-groups. Social distance has gauged desired distance from religious groups (Brinkerhoff et al., 1991; Brockett et al., 2009), those with mental illness or some type of disability (Adewuya & Makanjuola, 2008; Ouellette-Kuntz et al., 2010; Pescosolido et al., 2013), and homosexuals (Maurer, 2013). As one measure of prejudice, the Bogardus Scale has demonstrated its usefulness in delineating the contours of negative sentiment toward key groups in society. 

This concept further implies that individuals who desire more social distance from those they define as different, subsequently construct their social spheres to be comprised predominantly of people like themselves. Indeed, research has shown that individuals’ networks tend to be remarkably homogenous regarding characteristics like race, social class, and religion (McPherson et al., 2001). The level of homophily of social networks may suggest preference for one’s own group and, consequently, prejudice or even hostility toward out-group members. Nonetheless, this wariness of others can be diminished through contact with out-group members. We anticipate the Number of Unique Groups will thus be inversely related to Social Distance. That is, those whose networks have fewer unique groups will desire more social distance than those with a high number of unique groups.

Contact Theory (Allport, 1954) asserts that contact with those who are different from oneself (in terms of race, ethnicity, social class, and the like) can mediate the negative attitudes held by in-group members.  Indeed, much research has established that prejudice reduction does occur with positive interactions between members of different groups. For example, Aberson et al. (2004) demonstrated that study subjects who had close friends who were members of an out-group scored lower on an implicit bias measure.  Using national data, Dixon & Rosenbaum (2004) found that Whites who had contact with Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to endorse stereotypes about those groups. Similarly, Ellison et al. (2011) showed that friendship contacts with Hispanics predicted more empathetic attitudes and less restrictive public policies toward that group. O’Neil & Tienda (2010) concluded similarly in their study of attitudes toward immigrants.

While not necessarily challenging the findings previously mentioned, other studies suggest complexity regarding contact and prejudice reduction. In a study of South African college students (Shrieff et al., 2010), researchers found that social distance measures increased based on perceived comfortability with those of a different race, and that these perceptions inhibited intergroup contact. Their study was conducted via observations in a dining hall, which should have provided ample opportunity for close intergroup contact and decreased social distance. Likewise, Ouellette-Kuntz et al. (2010) found that respondents’ desired social distance from those with intellectual disabilities was partly contingent on the perceived severity of the disability.

In light of the previous research, it is clear that intergroup contact can play a role in reducing desired social distance from an “other”. However, there is complexity in how the process of contact occurs, and the outcomes and implications for prejudice reduction. Indeed, according to Allport, key conditions must exist for that contact to be effective in reducing prejudice.  These four conditions include cooperation, common goals, equal social status, and institutional support (Allport, 1954).  The present study will add to this literature by considering the role of Facebook to bring one into contact with the “other”, thereby decreasing network homophily, and, potentially reducing social distance and increasing tolerance and acceptance. It is important to note that while the four conditions outlined by Allport may not be present in the Facebook sphere, recent research suggests this may not be necessary. Crisp and Turner (2009) contend that simulated social contact can be effective in reducing fear and prejudice.  They identify a “continuum of contact” ranging from actual, sustained contact, like that articulated by Allport (1954), to imagined positive contact with the “other”.  Facebook interactions may lie somewhere on this continuum between actual and imagined contact. Certainly, time spent on Facebook can be thought of as time spent with others in an imagined community of sorts (boyd, 2010). Further, since Facebook is so widespread, it is highly likely that at least a portion of those “others” will be of different backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. In conclusion, we anticipate that higher Facebook Intensity will be associated with a lower desire for social distance than those with low Facebook Intensity.

H7: Facebook intensity, the number of Facebook Friends, and the Time Spent on Facebook predict a decrease in desired Social Distance

H8: Number of Unique Groups predicts a decrease in desired Social Distance

H9: Network Diversity predicts a decreased in desired Social Distance

H10: Diversity Change predicts a decreased in desired Social Distance


A total of 400 students completed the survey for this study. Their participation was solicited via emails, containing a survey-linked URL address, from instructors teaching sociology and communication courses in three different institutions. These included two universities in the Southeastern United States (including one private, religiously-based institution), and one large university in the Midwest. The URL address linked respondents to the online survey, which took approximately 20 minutes to complete. The sample was largely white (78%) and female (71%), both of which are proportional to sociology and communication course enrollment at the three universities.

Concept Measurement: Dependent Variable

Social Distance was measured by using a modified version of the Bogardus (1933) Social Distance Scale wherein participants’ acceptance of an “other” was measured by their desired social distance from said other. For example, each participant was asked how they would feel about having a Muslim “as a relative by marriage”, “as a personal friend”, “as a neighbor”, and so on, with the highest desired distance being “I’d exclude them from my country”. For social distance measures, we focused on three primary “others”, 1) Muslims, 2) Atheists, and 3) Gays.

Concept Measurement: Independent Variables

We include four measures that tap into ones level of engagement with Facebook: number of unique groups, a Facebook Intensity scale, the number of friends one has on Facebook, and the amount of time spent per day on Facebook. The variable number of unique groups was created by adding the total number of groups identified by the respondent as part of their network. The average number of unique groups reported was 8.58, with a minimum of 0 and maximum of 13 possible groups (such as “Family”, “Coworkers”, and “Friends through religious organizations”). 

Facebook Intensity scale combined responses of six questions tapping into use and intensity of engagement with Facebook such as “Facebook has become part of my daily routine” and “I feel out of touch if I haven’t logged onto Facebook for a while”.  Response categories were Likert Scales ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”.  The Cronbach’s Alpha measure of internal consistency yielded a score of.822.

A third measure of Facebook Engagement is the number of friends respondents report. This is a categorical measure ranging from “50 or less” to  more than 900”. 

Finally, we ask respondents how much time in the past week, on average, they have spent on Facebook. The response categories range from “less than 10 minutes” to “more than 3 hours”.

Network Diversity was comprised of five survey items and asked each participants what portion theirnetwork was similar to them in the following areas: Religious Preference, Race, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Political Views. Answers ranged from “Almost All” to “None”. These items were then combined for an overall measure of Network Diversity.

Change in Network Diversity (over 5 years) was measured in five survey items that mirrored the categories of Network Diversity. Here, however, participants were asked how their networks had changed over the past five years in each of the five categories (Religious diversity, Racial diversity, etc). Answers ranged from “Much more diverse” to “Much less diverse”.

Control measures included sex, race, parent’s education level, class standing, political views (measured on a 7-item continuum ranging from extremely conservative to extremely liberal), church attendance (measured by seven categories ranging from “more than once a week” to “never”), prayer (measured by seven categories ranging from “several times a day” to “never”), and whether the respondent reveals their religious views on Facebook.


Table 1 presents the sample descriptives. Regarding our key dependent variables, desired social distance from Muslims, Atheists, and Gays is fairly low. The most social distance is desired from Atheists (1.33) and the least from Gays (.85), with Muslims (1.12) falling in-between.

Our measures for Facebook Engagement show moderate to high levels of Facebook Intensity (19.11) and an average number of 8.5 unique groups per respondent. About 80 percent of respondents report having more than 300 Facebook friends, and roughly 30 percent spend between 10 – 30 minutes per day on Facebook.  Regarding overall Network Diversity, respondents indicate that most to about half of their network is the same religion, race, social class, sexual orientation, and political views (2.41). Similarly, most report that their network is the same on those characteristics as it was 5 years earlier (3.42), edging toward slightly more diversity.

For our control measures, about 72 percent of the sample report a parent with a Bachelor’s degree or higher and 38 percent are Freshmen in college.  About 35 percent report being extremely to slightly conservative. On our religious control measures, about 25 percent attend church services weekly or more, 41 percent pray daily or more, and 54 percent reveal their religious preference on Facebook. 

Table 2 shows the correlations pertaining to Hypotheses 1-6. H1 was supported in that FB Intensity had a significant (p<.001), positive association with Number of FB Friends (.225), Time Spent on FB (.596) and the Number of Unique Groups (.201). Thus, higher levels of Facebook intensity is associated with more Facebook friends, more time spent on Facebook, and more unique groups among one’s network.

Meanwhile, H2 was not supported. Actually, Network Diversity had a significant (p<.001) negative association with FB Intensity (-.189) and Number of FB Friends (-.182). This means that higher levels of diversity in one’s network is associated with less Facebook intensity and fewer Facebook friends.

H3 received some support in that FB Intensity was positively associated with Diversity Change (.103, p<.05) at a minimal level, meaning greater engagement with Facebook is related to increases in network diversity. However, associations with Time Spent on FB and Number of FB Friends were not significant.

H4 was not supported in that Number of Unique groups was not positively associated with Network Diversity (-.201, p<.001). Instead, a greater number of unique groups is associated with less diversity of one’s network.

H5 was supported. Number of Unique Groups was positively associated with Diversity Change though at only a minimal level (.101, p<05). In other words, a greater number of unique groups is related to greater diversity over time of one’s network.

H6 was not supported in that Network Diversity and Change in Diversity were not significantly linked. Interestingly, no relationship exists between total network diversity and change in diversity over time of one’s network.

Table 3 reports the linear regression results for social distance desired from Muslims.  Only one measure of Facebook Engagement is predictive.  The more unique groups in one’s network, the less social distance desired from Muslims. One measure of Network Diversity is predictive. The more change one perceives in their network over the past five years, the less social distance desired from Muslims. Finally, political views predict distance such that the more conservative one is, the more social distance desired from Muslims.

Table 4 presents the linear regression results for social distance from Gays. The higher the number of unique groups in one’s network, the less social distance desired from gays.

However, the more Facebook friends reported, the more social distance from gays is desired. None of our diversity measures show predictive power. However, females and the more politically liberal tend to desire less social distance from gays.

Table 5 presents the linear regression results for social distance from Atheists.  Regarding Facebook engagement, those with more Facebook friends desire more social distance from Atheists. None of our network diversity measures are related to attitudes toward atheists. For our controls, Black respondents are more likely than those of other races or ethnicities to desire distance from atheists. In addition, those who engage in more frequent prayer also desire more distance. However, those with higher class standing, and, those with more liberal political views tend to desire less distance from atheists than their counterparts.


In sum, our analyses show that Facebook’s potential impact on desired social distance is nuanced. First, desired social distance was most strongly predicted by the Number of Unique Groups in one’s network  (decrease in desired social distance). This, we believe, is an important component in generating tolerance and acceptance of others. The Facebooker’s network is largely made up of offline connections, so those that have a higher number of unique groups online are likely to have interacted with these same groups offline. Facebook interactions might serve as a reaffirmation of positive, offline interactions, thus lending general support to Contact Theory and a reduction in desired Social Distance.

Second, the number of friends in one’s network predicts an increase in desired social distance. This finding is important because we move beyond simplistic thinking that having more relationships equates to increased acceptance of others. Here, interacting with a largely homogenous group results in a polarizing effect regarding (negative) attitudes toward others. The key takeaway from this and the preceding paragraph is that increased tolerance and acceptance comes from interacting with members of unique groups, not merely interacting more frequently with like-minded friends.

Third, perceptions of network diversity change over the past five years predict a decrease in desired social distance specifically from Muslims. This finding directly supports a basic tenet of Contact Theory in that increased experiences with individuals who are different from oneself yields higher tolerance and acceptance of others.

We feel that these three findings lend support to two key theoretical arguments. First, a higher number of unique groups predicts decreases in social distance, suggesting that online contact may indeed be reducing prejudice, as Intergroup Contact Theory asserts. This is potentially due to the unique groups bringing a variety of ideas and perspectives to the individual, thus leading to a more-open-minded stance to others in general. Second, those who report an increase in diversity of their networks tend to desire less social distance. This finding suggests that diverse social networks may, in fact, be a way to build social capital by increasing trust and decreasing distrust of the Other. This argument may be indirectly strengthened by our finding that more friends in one’s Facebook network tends to predict increased social distance. It may be that if one is building an online network that is largely homogeneous, they are not exposing themselves to individuals and groups who are different from themselves, thus not building social capital and intergroup trust. 

Additionally, our findings may align with Crisp and Turner’s (2009) notion of a “continuum of contact”. They argue that actual contact with the Other may not be necessary for prejudice reduction. In that regard, if one is building an online network where “friends of friends” are a different race, religion, class, political persuasion, or sexual orientation, this may be enough to promote tolerance. Actual sustained interaction may not be necessary, but, rather, the knowledge that a good friend likes and trusts an Other could be sufficient to challenge stereotypes. Further, Crisp and Turner found that simply imagining a positive interaction with someone who was different reduced prejudice. One could speculate that individuals with more diverse online networks, while not actually interacting with those who are different, may imagine positive interactions, thus reducing the desire for social distance.

It should be noted that Network Diversity did not predict Desired Social Distance.

We suspect that this finding is due to the fact that so many respondents reported a relatively homogeneous network. In our view, this supports Allport’s Intergroup Contact Theory in that individuals tend to surround themselves with others they perceive as very similar to themselves, reducing the opportunity for contact with anyone who may be different. 

Given Facebook’s relatively recent population shift toward older participants, our findings might indicate a potential avenue for decreasing desired social distance among those with perhaps more entrenched perspectives about the Other. However, given our sample demographics, it might also be that our findings pertain mostly to younger participants, who are perhaps still forming their opinions about members of groups different from their own.

 To restate, Facebook’s relationship to desired social distance appears to be nuanced. On one hand, a Facebooker’s network is typically made of offline connections, and their network diversity therefore is merely a mirror of their offline diversity experience. On the other hand, it appears that having a significant number of unique groups within a FB network – again, mirroring offline interactions – may complement or even embolden tendencies toward acceptance of Others.

Limitations and Future Research

There are several limiting factors regarding this study’s generalizability. First, our sample was a convenience sample of college students. Additionally, it skewed toward female and white. Facebook, of course, has nearly saturated the college demographic, so the sample in many ways represents the bulk of Facebook’s early adopters. However, with Facebook’s current growth outside college students, the study’s findings are limited in scope. Other populations are certainly fruitful ground for future research.

An added concern is with the direction of causality. Because our study design is cross-sectional, we cannot be sure if respondents’ increase in tolerance is a result of changes to their network. It may be that more tolerant individuals simply build more diverse online networks. However, respondents were asked about their perceived change in their networks, suggesting that network change may influence decreased desired social distance. Further research should incorporate a panel design to be more confident about causality. 

Another possible concern is with the validity of our dependent measures.  We gauged social distance desired from Muslims, Gays, and Atheists.  However, it is important to note that since the terrorist attacks of 9-11 respondents may have been exposed to messages of tolerance of Muslims from media, educational institutions, family, and peers.  It is possible that respondents reported less social distance simply due to the effects of this tolerance socialization.  Similarly, the past few years has witnessed a sea change in visibility of gays and lesbians, messages of tolerance and acceptance, and even major legislative changes in support of gay-friendly public policy.  While it is likely that attitudes have genuinely changed among many young people, it is also possible that their responses reflect a concern with negative social sentiment for revealing what are now seen as prejudiced attitudes.  It may be helpful for future researchers to include a “social desirability scale” to control for this possibility.  However, we suspect that given the anonymity afforded with this survey, responses are likely authentic. 

Related, the greatest social distance desired from the three groups is from atheists.  Atheists have not had the level of exposure in media like Muslims or gays, nor have concerns about atheists reached the level of national discourse.  This may be one of the reasons why respondents report relatively high levels of distance desired.  This could be a fruitful area for future research. 

Lastly, our sample – for perhaps a variety of reasons – did not score highly in Network Diversity or Change in Network Diversity (over the past 5 years). This may be due to the largely homophilous populations found at our three Universities. Also, it might be that our instrument needs further testing; this is particularly likely for our measure of Change in Network Diversity. Five years may simply have not been enough time for significant changes to occur.

About the Authors

Dr. Lee Farquhar, assistant professor in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department, joined Samford in 2009. Prior to arriving at Samford, he completed his doctoral work at the University of Iowa.Dr. Farquhar received his bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in electronic media at the University of Northern Iowa. He received a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Kansas State University. His professional experience is primarily in radio and television broadcasting. He has also worked as a freelance videographer, shooting video for Kansas State University and MTV.

Dr. Farquhar teaches video production courses at Samford, with particular emphases in producing television news for the Samford News Network and the Department’s Film Production program. His research interests are social media, identity, and social psychological theories. He current research projects focus on the relationships between Facebook use, social anxiety, self-monitoring levels, and religiosity. 

Theresa Davidson came to Samford’s sociology department in 2005. She was attracted to Samford because of the close relationships she could have with her students and colleagues. She says that Samford’s small class sizes allow her to have more one-on-one time with her students and colleagues.

Both of Davidson's parents were teachers and she found in graduate school the same passion for teaching. She currently teaches Samford's Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods, Race Relations, Gender Studies, and Social Class and Inequality courses. She says she most enjoys teaching these classes because they challenge students to look at the world in a different way create social change.


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Table 1 Descriptives

Mean or Proportion

Standard Deviation


Social Distance Measures

Distance from Muslims




Distance from Atheists




Distance from Gays




Facebook Engagement

Facebook Intensity



6.0 - 29.0

Number of Unique Groups



0.0 – 13.0

More than 300 FB Friends


Spend 10-30 Minutes per Day on FB


Network Diversity

Total Network Diversity



1.0 – 5.0

Network Diversity Change Over 5 Years



1.4 – 5.0








Parent has Bachelor’s Degree or More




Politically Conservative


Attend Church Weekly or More


Pray Daily or More


Reveal Religion on Facebook


Table 2 Correlation Matrix







Facebook Intensity







Number of Unique Groups






Facebook Friends





Facebook Time




Total Network Diversity



Network Diversity Change over 5 years


p<.001*** p<.01** p<.05*

Table 3 Predicting Social Distance from Muslims

Beta (standardized coefficients)

Standard Error

Facebook Engagement

Facebook Intensity



Number of Unique Groups



Number of FB Friends



Time per Day on FB



Network Diversity

Total Network Diversity



Network Diversity Change Over 5 Years













Parent Education



Class Standing



Political Views



Church Attendance






Reveal Religion on Facebook



p<.05* p<.01** p<.001***

r2 =.064

Table 4 Predicting Social Distance from Gays

Beta (standardized coefficients)

Standard Error

Facebook Engagement

Facebook Intensity



Number of Unique Groups



Number of FB Friends



Time per Day on FB



Network Diversity

Total Network Diversity



Network Diversity Change Over 5 Years













Parent Education



Class Standing



Political Views



Church Attendance






Reveal Religion on Facebook



p<.05* p<.01** p<.001***

r2 =.148

Table 5 Predicting Social Distance from Atheists

Beta (standardized coefficients)

Standard Error

Facebook Engagement

Facebook Intensity



Number of Unique Groups



Number of FB Friends



Time per Day on FB



Network Diversity

Total Network Diversity



Network Diversity Change Over 5 Years













Parent Education



Class Standing



Political Views



Church Attendance






Reveal Religion on Facebook



p<.05* p<.01** p<.001***

 r2 =.162

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