Intelligence and Kindness Downplayed by Teen Girls Online

by Kathy Jones on  November 28, 2010 at 8:11 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Teenage girls present a different image to the world online than they do in person, says a new survey.

The survey of more than 1,000 girls ages 14 through 17 has found that many downplay certain aspects of themselves online-like intelligence and kindness.
 Intelligence and Kindness Downplayed by Teen Girls Online
Intelligence and Kindness Downplayed by Teen Girls Online

While 82 percent of girls said they come across as "smart" in real life, and 76 percent said they were "kind," the most common words girls used when talking about their online personas were "fun" and "funny."

"Girls say they come across as more well-rounded in person than they do online," Live Science quoted Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the Girl Scout Research Institute, as saying.

"One of the hypotheses is that perhaps those other qualities aren't necessarily the online currency that gets traction. The things they think will get approved are the fun, funny aspects. It might just not be the right forum to display every aspect of their personality," said Salmond.

This difference between online and real-life personas was stronger in girls who measured lower in self-esteem.

While 18 percent of girls with high self-esteem said their social networking image doesn't match their in-person image, 33 percent of girls with low self-esteem admitted to this disparity.

The girls researchers identified as having low self-esteem were also more likely to claim that the image they portray online is "sexy" (22 percent versus 14 percent of high self-esteem girls).

The survey asked the girls a variety of questions regarding their experiences with social media. Among all respondents, 91 percent use Facebook regularly, although most still said they prefer face-to-face interactions.

Salmond said there was a gap between how well girls understood the potential hazards of Facebook and other social media outlets, and whether they actually did anything about them.

"They're not unaware of these potential consequences, but they're still doing it," said Salmond.

Source: ANI

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