Insights from what you do online
Online social networking was becoming established among American youth. Yair Amichai-Hamburger and colleagues from Bar-Ilan University in Israel examined how social interaction online compares with social interaction offline and how personality characteristics of people affect how they communicate and engage with others in these settings. There were personality differences in the way people presented themselves online and offline. Communicating online offers a degree of anonymity compared with face-to-face interaction and also gives the communicator control over the length of a conversation or other form of interaction. The way people use the online world in self-presentation and social networking can vary and the personality make-up has been found to play a part in shaping this behaviour. The online world would seem to provide a constructive alternative to the real world for shy and nervous individuals to be themselves and show others who they really are.