A survey carried out by Intel, into the social media habits of different nationalities, found that 56 per cent of Britons care about looking as good as possible on their social media profile pages.
However, in the Middle East and the rest of Europe, social media users are far more concerned about appearing intelligent when posting information online – with 61 per cent saying they wanted to seem intellectual when sharing content and their views on sites such as Facebook.
More than half of Britons want to be more like their “well crafted social media personas” in real life. People often tell social lies to impress others and appear more confident – but according to the study – more than half of the people being lied to online know it is the case.
Amber Burton, a lecturer in digital media and advertising at Bournemouth University, commented on the findings of the study: “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.
“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. Getting that balance right is important but difficult, and much depends on context and the unwritten ‘rules’ of performing a virtual identity in the digital arena.”
Genevieve Bell, director of this piece of Intel research, (entitled Interaction and Experience), added: “New technologies tend to magnify the contradictions in our behaviour. We want both to create a good impression with our peers and also complain about over-sharing. It takes time to find a balance.”
The study also found that Britons hate “over-sharing” on social media with 91 per cent agreeing that there are some topics which have no place on these digital networks.