Healthy Living

Social Networking Sites May Reflect Real You

Social Networking Sites May Reflect Real You

Key Takeaways

  • Social networking sites are thought to mask a person's true personality.  This may not be true.
  • One study finds that a person's social media presence  more accurately represents a person's true personality that thought

Social networking sites like Facebook may reflect the realities of your personality, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. This was revealed by group of researchers who tried to determine whether people fake it on social networking sites resulting in misleading impressions.

The results show that people who spend time on such sites provide a mirror image of themselves rather than creating wrong impressions. Study researcher Sam Gosling, PhD, of the University of Texas feels that people provide their true image either because they are not trying to look good or because they are trying but failing to pull it off.

In this study, researchers surveyed 236 college students who are regular users of popular social networking sites -- Facebook in the U.S. and Studi VZ and Schueler VZ in Germany. The participants answered questionnaires relating to their actual and idealized personality traits. It was then correlated to the ratings by their friends and observers.

The ratings showed that there was no evidence of painting the wrong image. This clearly shows that people use online sites to express themselves and to communicate who they really are. According to Gosling, the ability to express the personality accurately satisfies a basic need. This is against the general consensus that people use social networking sites to project wrong and self-idealized images about themselves.