Today marks my debut into the blogging universe, a  pool that I have circled around for many years but hesitated to jump into.  Admittedly,  I am late adopter with all things media and technology.  This is slightly ironic given that I am an avid user of internet, smart phone and social networking sites, yet I was the last of my social circle with an iPhone purchase or facebook account.  Nonetheless, being a late adopter has not stifled my interest to explore using social media to maintain relationships and as an instructional tool for my scholarly research agenda.  I plan to particularly explore how military families use social networking sites to maintain relationships during deployment for my doctoral dissertation.    I recently presented at CCME (Council of College and Military Educators conference) on how we can use social networking sites to promote collaboration and connection among military learners. 

My  hesitation to dive into blogging stems from its inherently exposed nature wherein the entire online population can “find” me and read my thoughts, ideas and information.  The fact that e-mail and social networking sites have privacy settings reduces my apprehension to “hop online” and engage.  There have been several occasions where I have found and read compelling pieces of literature describing different facets and functions of online media; however, when it comes to sharing them through this venue I have steered away.  Recently, and with the supportive pressure of some of my doctoral comrades, I became aware of how much control Ido have within the blog-o-sphere and that by creating an online presence it may have beneficial implications towards generating a network of individuals with whom I can share ideas and engage in research endeavours if we possess a shared interest. 

So…  *SPLASH*… I’ve jumped into the pool…   

With that, I would like to share an interesting article that I read this morning that was posted online by The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA.  The contents describe a study that was published in the Journal  of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking that examined individual’s profile management on social networking sites and how people use sites like Facebook to reveal personal characteristics.  The findings indicated gender differences and concluded that women are more likely than men to use social networking as a platform to compete for attention, establish self-worth and formulate a foundation for attractiveness standards.  The average age of the subjects was 23 years old. The 311 participants completed a questionnaire to determine their social networking behaviors by looking at the amount of time spent managing profiles, number of posted pictures, volume of  network connections and connection criteria.   

In interpersonal communication, we discuss social comparison and its impact on formation of identity and portrayals of self.  It is noteworthy that as a result of this study we realize that the comparisons are not exclusive to the women we see in Hollywood and on TV but also our online peers and “friends” within our online social networks.  

Here’s a link to the article online:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/03/30/1605893/women-who-post-lots-of-photos.html

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