PhD student Theresa Sauter, from the Queensland University of Technology, is examining how social-networking websites help people form their own identity.
"Social-networking sites, blogs, online discussion forums and online journals represent modern arenas for individuals to write themselves into being," the Courier Mail quoted Sauter as saying.
"A lot of people see social networking as a new way for people to interact but I'm interested in examining it as a way to form an identity and understand ourselves," she added.
The study will focus on the history and benefits of writing about oneself.
"The ancient Greek philosophers used a reflective notebook to write down what they had read and their thoughts on it," she said.
"Early Christians and Puritans kept confessional diaries, while ... in the 20th century self-writing was commonly used in therapy to enable people to explore and heal themselves," she added.
In her opinion, Facebook is the modern-day equivalent.
"We now live in a secularist society but people are still concerned with getting things off their chest. People put status updates on their Facebook account confessing everything.
"They are feeling compelled to be honest and reveal themselves. People have always felt this way but doing it in the public realm means they are simultaneously surrendering some of their privacy," she said.