Self in the real and virtual world Cover Image

Азът в реалния и виртуалния свят
Self in the real and virtual world

Author(s): Irina Zinovieva, Svetozar Ivanov, Momchil Kiryakov
Subject(s): Psychology
Published by: Институт за изследване на населението и човека - Българска академия на науките
Keywords: self; identity shift; social networks; virtual world.

Summary/Abstract: Virtual reality is gradually becoming a key factor of the socio-cultural framework defining the beginning of the new millennium. Adaptation of the self to this new reality requires development of new resources. In a study with 89 semi-structured interviews, the authors focus on the differences between the real and virtual Self. Data suggest distinct differences exist between the selves in the two worlds. Most people (58% of sample) state their virtual self experience has a very distinct identity but does not match their self in the real world. Other participants take advantage of the possibilities that virtual communication gives for making a better impression. They carefully build a positive and close to ideal image of themselves, intently pictured to be different from their real-life personality. Third part of our subjects think virtual reality contributes to a better expression of certain characteristics of their real self. On the whole, people express a feeling that being online gives an opportunity to get closer to one‘s ideal self. The combination of improved real self and approximation to the ideal self creates a feeling of self-actualization.

  • Issue Year: 16/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 17-23
  • Page Count: 7