Social media has been able to advance due to the essence of the psychology behind it. Cohn (2010) contends that people are increasingly getting involved in social media due to the emotional aspects of such media. Emotional in this sense implies that people are able to present the intricacies of their lives in detail that they would normally in an offline environment. The key reason put forward as to why people join the social media in droves to connect with others are so as to belong and be part of a group and to receive attention and acknowledgments (Raake & Bonds-Raake, 2008).
Using gratification theory to determine the motivation behind the use of online social sites Raacke & Bonds-Raake (2008) show that mainly social networking sites are used by people to keep in touch with friends and to communicate. They noted that most friends who are even closer to each felt more comfortable expressing themselves online rather than do so face to face. This implies that social networking has made people freer in what they say and write on the sites without a care of consequences for such expressions. In supporting this view, Goodings, Locke, and Brown (2007) elucidate that social networking has enabled people to develop a newer concept of identity.
Most people join social sites such as Facebook, Twitter in order to get an identity and also to exude a certain personality to the wide array of their online audience. With this social media has enabled people to take on various sets of identities which they may adopt and dispose of in their daily interactions. Dixon and Durheim (2000) claim that a person’ s identity is often grounded in the spaces that they occupy, and it is these identities that give an individual a sense of belonging as it is such place identities that enables a person to express their preferences and tastes.
This implies that social media has greatly changed the manner in which individuals identify themselves, how they interact, and how they gratify their innate needs.
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