Given that it is easy to create a new account with a new name and a new photo, it is tempting to try and reinvent yourself online to someone very different from who you are in real life, but apparently that might not be such a good idea. Moral implications aside, it would seem that not being yourself on social media platforms like Facebook could affect your mental health.
This is according to a study conducted by Rachel Grieve and Jarrah Watkinson from University of Tasmania in Australia. In their study, which consisted of 146 participants, they had the participants complete a personality assessment as themselves, and another time as the person they are trying to represent on Facebook.
Based on their findings, it would seem that people who act differently on Facebook from their real-life selves were discovered to be more depressed, anxious, and stressed compared to people whose Facebook profiles were closer to who they are and how they act in real-life. It was also found that the former group tended to be more attention-seeking than others.
So what does this mean? Basically just be yourself, and while your “other” self might come across more appealing, at least as far as being on Facebook is concerned, it probably won’t be doing you any favors in real life. In the meantime if you’re interested, you can check out the study here.