One of the many benefits that Facebook provides its users is that it allows them to connect with each other, in whatever part of the world. However, it seems that social media rather than make us more open and more social as humans, we are closed even more in ourselves, making us socially awkward and embarrassed. Researchers from Arizona studied the reactions of people who knew each other online, when they met up closer, face to face. The researchers found that during interpersonal meetings, participants were anxious. In search of Benedictine University in the city of Mesa, Arizona, involving 26 female students. The study leader Shannon Rauch measured the changes that occur in physiological arousal, using electrodes that record the galvanic skin response. The research team chose to use women in the experiment, because as mentioned women are more likely to be users of Facebook and also exhibit higher levels of social anxiety.
The researchers asked, in addition, all the participants to complete a specific questionnaire on which they measured their levels of social anxiety. He then broke them up into four groups and asked them to study and memorize the face of another student, in preparation for a test of facial recognition. The first group had to look at the face of another person through a profile on Facebook. The second team had to study the face of a person while he was in the same room with him. The third group showed pictures of people before the face to face encounter. The latter group did everything backwards: female students first encountered close others and then showed them their pictures on Facebook.
The researchers found that those who had looked the pictures on Facebook first and then met up close the other participants showed increased levels of anxiety. This, according to experts, is because many looked the other profiles on Facebook have time to compare themselves with the person you met. And this may, for example, causes feelings of inferiority. The researchers findings agree with previous studies which suggest that those who are characterized by social anxiety tend to prefer the web of interpersonal interactions. However, as stated in a report, researchers recognize the fact that psychological stimulation caused people may be associated not only with negative emotions and positive. The same claim that an internet acquaintance, followed by meeting face to face, could lead to positive stimulation, highlighting the need for further studies on this.
By Nicole P.