Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Facebook: Is this any place for the not-so-self-assured to make friends?

From the Los Angeles Times:

Facebook, the social networking giant that connects 845 million people to one another, may be a jolly gabfest for the self-assured. But for those who suffer from low self-esteem, it appears to be a rather nasty trap, luring such people into self-disclosures that prompt many a Facebook friend to agree with their low opinion of themselves.

A new study, set to be published in the journal Psychological Science, explored the dynamics of friendship on Facebook to see what benefits or pitfalls the site might offer to a population that could use the propping up of a few new friends: those who think poorly of themselves, fear judgment by others and are prone to social isolation and depression.

Enlisting a slew of undergraduates for three separate studies, they found that those with low self-esteem are encouraged and emboldened by Facebook's capacity to provide a forum for social interaction that doesn't risk awkward face-to-face communication. They established that, given the opportunity for such social interaction, those with low-esteem do engage in the kind of self-disclosure that is thought essential for friendships to take hold and deepen.

The information contained in this blog can not be considered medical advice. These are only my own thoughts, feelings & ideas. If you or someone you know are having problems with mental illness please seek qualified medical advice.

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