Discussion Essay

Do people create, different projections of themselves online or do they stay close to their face-to-face identities?

People often create varied projections of themselves online rather than staying true to their face-to-face identities. Their online selves embody their ideals and removes many of their other real aspects. Social media provides a unique platform for individuals to control their presentation.

It also enables persons to create an enhanced self (Delise, 2012). Online users are more likely to project ideal qualities one hopes for in a friendship into online interaction partners.  In essence, social media effect tend to create a false sense of self and self-esteem via the use of fans, comments, likes and posts (Delise, 2012). To appear more desirable, people tend to create an inflated unrealistic version of themselves.

As a result, their online persona is not a reflective of their offline persona. In comparison to face-to-face interaction, people who engage in online interaction are less likely to express their true selves. A person can silo different facets of their personality. While social media and digital space has afforded people many things, it has also afforded the strange ability for a person to become different people. It is incredible that social media is able to develop and maintain many identities all at the same time.

How do individuals’ personal, social and cultural circumstances influence their self-expression online?

Cultural and social circumstances do influence the way individuals express themselves. Culture influences the communication of psychological attributes, quantity of self-descriptive expression and individuating information. Culture influences whether feelings are expressed privately or publicly (Kim, 2009). Similarly, social circumstances how people define their self and self-esteem.  People with low self-esteem are likely to express themselves online in order to feel in control of their feelings and thoughts and prove their psychological wellbeing.


Delise, N.N. (2012). “Me, Myself, & Identity Online: Identity Salience on Facebook vs Non-Virtual Identity.” Theses and Dissertations. University of New Orleans 1431.

Kim, H.S. (2009). Culture and self-expression: Cultural differences in verbal expression lead to distinctive patterns of cognitive performance, stress responses, and social support. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2010/06/sci-brief

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