Date of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Oswald, Debra

Second Advisor

Franzoi, Stephen

Third Advisor

Kaugars, Astrida

Abstract

Online social networking services are web sites designed to allow individuals to learn about and communicate with other individuals. It is hypothesized that shy individuals would uniquely benefit socially from using these websites because these web sites mitigate self-presentational concerns. Participants (N = 241) completed a questionnaire that assessed their use of Facebook, an online social networking service. Participants vi also completed questionnaires assessing their degree of shyness, perceived social support, loneliness, and the size and quality of their social network. Results indicated shy individuals benefited more from using Facebook than did non-shy individuals in that their social networks were larger and of betler quality. Despite this, shy individuals who used Facebook were no less lonely than those who did not use Facebook.

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