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

© 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.

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Does Facebook use affect body image in teen girls?

Dec 03, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Researchers urge psychologists to see institutional betrayal

11 hours ago

Clinical psychologists are being urged by two University of Oregon researchers to recognize the experiences of institutional betrayal so they can better treat their patients and respond in ways that help avoid or repair damaged ...

User comments