The information provided by the data is grand in scope, yet shallow in depth and partially incomplete. Globally, the researchers aimed to include information from all countries, yet were prevented from providing data on the following areas:7
However, it does not tell us which of these countries
were omitted and the factors that determined this omission. Likewise, the data also excludes
regions with the least active users under the Database of Global Administrative areas. Countries
that have a population with less than a million people are not divided compared to their
counterparts in GADM level 1 and 2 regions. For counties within the United States, the dataset also excludes
counties with fewer than 100 active users.8
But while broad, the Social Connectedness Index itself only tells us so much. We can understand the magnitude of connections between locations that that number relative to connections between other locations, yet we cannot understand the strength of these connections or what the Index implies. It does not specify whether connections involve consistent interaction, nor does it acknowledge intersectional identities such as ethnicity, gender, race, age,
income, or political affiliation. Furthermore, this dataset is merely a representative sample of individuals with access to Facebook and those who are actively using their services. Almost 45% of Americans are not represented here. This 45% figure in itself may be an indication of low widespread inter-geographical connectedness, yet we cannot use this data to determine that.
Additionally, this dataset represents a snapshot in time from August 2020, therefore, we cannot explore how connection trends may have shifted throughout time, especially with the growth of technology and access to Facebook.