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Highlights from the American Sociological Association annual meeting

Research on social media's reluctant users, marital ideals and single parenthood and intimate victims of cybernastiness presented August 10-13 in New York City

3:27pm, August 15, 2013

Facebook doesn’t feel right

A big chunk of social media users say that digital communications don’t hold an old fashioned candle to face-to-face conversations. Among 300 tech-savvy college students, roughly half feel uncomfortable interacting on Facebook, Twitter and other social media but do so because it’s unavoidable, Zeynep Tufekci of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported on August 10.

Tufekci and Matthew Brashears of Cornell University developed a questionnaire to measure a person’s inability or unwillingness to relate to others via social media as he or she would in person. Tufekci calls this disposition cyberasociality. Students who are cyberasocial show no signature personality traits, such as being especially extraverted or introverted, Tufekci said.

Just as dyslexia became apparent as literacy became widespread, so has cyberasociality emerged in growing digital cultures, Tufekci proposed.

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