General Article The psychology of social media

Topic Selected: Social Media
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Social media has had a profound effect on the way people engage with each other. Its power lies in the way it can provide users with a sense of personal connection and community. Psychologists are interested in what effect this has on people’s behaviour in real life.

Which is the real you?

Social media can have a positive effect on people’s confidence. A positive online interaction can make people feel good! Even though users present their actual identity on Social Network sites, they may not be showing their true personas, beliefs, interests or identity. Research has suggested that there is little comparison between a person’s updates and posts, to how they are in real life. Online, people have a tendency to present an exaggeration of their personality and there is more time to make adjustments in online interactions. If this is going to increase well-being and a feeling of belonging, then social media is certainly doing its job!

Wilcox and Stephens are right to point out that i...

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