Britons worry about their Facebook 'look'

Aug. 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- More Britons care about how they look on social networks such as Facebook rather than how intelligent they come across, a study has found.

More than half of Britons in an Intel survey of social media habits -- 56 percent -- said they were concerned about looking as good as possible on their social media profile pages.

This was in contrast to the survey's findings in the Middle East and the rest of Europe, where social media users said they were far more concerned about appearing intelligent when posting information online, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Sixty-one percent said they preferred to be viewed as intellectual when sharing content and views on social networking sites.

"Finding a balance between narcissistic impulse, a need to be 'in the loop' and being careful about self-disclosure are all aspects of contemporary identity," Amber Burton, a lecturer in digital media and advertising at Bournemouth University, said of the study's findings.

"Who were are, what we say about ourselves, how others perceive us -- these are all magnified, and often distorted -- through the lens of social media," she said.

Researchers conducting the survey echoed that view.

"New technologies tend to magnify the contradictions in our behavior," said Genevieve Bell, who directed the research for Intel.

"We want both to create a good impression with our peers and also complain about over-sharing. It takes time to find a balance."

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