Impacts of Social Networking Sites in Real Life: Is the Profile a Tool of the Real Life Self?
People actively engage in identity management every day to present the self that is most desirable to a particular audience. The Internet has created a unique environment of anonymity, which allows identity experimentation with multiple selves. Social networking sites provide a nonymous environment, which still maintains some aspects that encourage identity exploration, but with a level of accountability that is reflected in users' real lives. This study utilized an anonymous online survey, examining how social networking site users engage in audience management as a way of conducting personal online identity experiments and identity re-creation in real life as a direct result of feedback received online. Results show users actively engage in audience management through privacy settings and experience real life changes as a result of social networking site activities.
Online social networks -- Psychological aspects; Identity (Psychology)