Esteem issues determine how people put their best Facebook forward

Topic Selected: Social Media

General Article icon Type: General Article

By Matthew Swayne

How social media users create and monitor their online personas may hint at their feelings of self-esteem and self-determination, according to an international team of researchers.

‘The types of actions users take and the kinds of information they are adding to their Facebook walls and profiles are a reflection of their identities,’ said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, Penn State. ‘You are your Facebook, basically, and despite all its socialness, Facebook is a deeply personal medium.’

People with lower self-esteem tend to be much more concerned with what others post about them on Facebook, while users with higher self-esteem spend more effort on adding information to their personal profiles on the social network, said Sundar.

The researchers, who report their findings today (5 September) at INTERACT 2013 in Cape Town, South

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