Social networking has become a phenomenon that people have used since the late 1990’s when the most significant development was made to computers and the internet when the creation of the IRC (internet relay chat) was made. This was the first of many social media chat rooms that would be created. Since then social networking sights are now used daily all around the world and are used not just for connecting with friends and family, but are established interconnected online communities that help people connect with others that they wouldn’t usually meet as well as enhancing their business opportunities.
Personalities are made up of different things which are unique and different within everyone, but have the same purpose which is a central drive as to who we are, how we think about the things we do. Personality can be defined as “A dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviours in various situations” (Ryckman, 2004: page 8). One of the key concept in the psychology of individual differences (core area of psychology) is the study of people’s similarities and the differences between each individual, which on which is personality.
Sigmund Freud can be described to be one of the most influential philosophical thinker of the early twentieth century who proposed many different theories that can be deemed as controversial. He focused on people’s instinct and childhood development and how experiences in our childhood can affect our later life, within one of these theories he claimed that all humans are naturally born with sexual desires that govern our behaviour as we age (all human actions as led by their instinct motivational processes which are derived from their sexual origins/drives). He incorporates these ideas to develop his ideas about the human personality having more than one part, which is said to be structured into three separate parts; The Id, ego and superego. (primal desires) Since this theory is unable to be tested, although it provides useful insight it has been empirically discredited.
Freud’s theories can be criticised by Eysenck, since he identified personality ‘types’ and each type are a group of correlated traits, having one of these traits usually means that’s it would be likely for you to have the others. For example, those who tend to avoid groups, and initiating conversation indicates traits of someone who would be deemed as being shy, which would mean they consist of the characteristics of an Introvert.
After recent investigations the research from (Craig, 2009: page 200) “The Five Factor Model of personality relates to Facebook use”, the model can be consistently seen across different studies as well as across cultures and languages such as (Church, 2000; 2001) and (Goldberg, 1993; McCrae & Costa, 1997; Norman 1963), the results are the same when using statements and when asked to list adjectives to describe and define personality.
At present the use of social networking sites is one of the most popular uses of the internet and can be related to previous research and theories such as the one discussed above, this is due to the way we communicate as individuals. The obvious and main difference with online socialising is that individuals have the freedom to create a new identity instead of creating a profile that is a replica of themselves. Furthermore, although the internet gives people the opportunity to connect with new individuals whether that be on a romantic level or purely just friendship the use of online communication allows people to choose whether they reply to instantly or give a delayed response, one of which that we could’ve edited multiple times before sending. Previous studies have also provided evidence which confirms people are more likely to ask more sensitive and personal question while communicating on networking sight, which raises the point that without face-to-face contact people are possibly more confident
Alongside the negative aspects of social networking there are many ways that if social networking is used correctly that it can a powerful tool that can is used to communicate, over time individuals have been able to communicate naturally with others without even realising their doing so. “They communicate without think about how they are communicating” (Lewis & Fabos, 2005; pp. 470-501).