Washington: Meeting virtual friends from Facebook in real life and interacting with them face-to face is apparently not the same as chatting with them over the social network site, a study has revealed.
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, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.
"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.
Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA, said in a press release that 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.