Meeting face to face vs. meeting on Facebook—new study on social anxiety

March 4, 2014
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Nearly a billion people use Facebook, the largest social networking site, but interacting with someone on social media is not the same as meeting them in person. The results of a study to determine whether Facebook exposure increases or reduces arousal during initial face-to-face encounters, especially among socially anxious individuals, are presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

"Face to Face Versus Facebook: Does Exposure to Social Networking Web Sites Augment or Attenuate Physiological Arousal Among the Socially Anxious?" Shannon Rauch and colleagues, Benedictine University at Mesa, AZ and Providence College, RI, evaluated the study participants for their level of social anxiety and then exposed each of them to a person via Facebook, a face-to-face encounter, or both. During the exposures the researchers measured physiological arousal using the galvanic skin response measure.

"Results appear to indicate that initial exposure to an individual via Facebook may have a negative impact on consequent face-to-face encounters with that individual for those with high social anxiety," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

Explore further: Who uses social networking sites to monitor their romantic partners?

More information: The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

Related Stories

Does Facebook use affect body image in teen girls?

December 3, 2013

"Appearance exposure" on the Internet has been linked to body image disturbance among adolescent girls. A new study that links specific Facebook activities, but not overall Facebook use to body dissatisfaction and a drive ...

Recommended for you

Teen suicide—ADHD medication as prevention

February 1, 2016

Black-box warnings about the dangers of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications are confusing and could have serious consequences for the risk of youth suicide, according to researchers at the Institut ...

Twenty-five-point drop in IQ caused by lack of gene copy

January 27, 2016

No autism is alike. This is also true of most mental disorders. "We now understand that each gene mutation has a specific effect, which adds to other effects to draw a unique picture of the disease in each patient," said ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.