In this study we present and empirically examine a new phenomenon related to social networking sites, such as Facebook, the "false Facebook-self." Arguably false self-presentation on Facebook is a growing phenomenon, and in extreme cases; i.e., when ones Facebook image substantially deviates from their true image, it may serve as a gateway behavior to more problematic behaviors which may lead to psychological problems and even pathologies. In this study we show that certain users are more vulnerable to such false self-presentation than others. The study involved 258 Facebook users. Applying ANOVA and SEM analyses we show that users with low self-esteem and low trait authenticity are more likely than others to present a Facebook-self which deviates from their true selves. These social-interaction-related traits are influenced by one's upbringing and the anxious and avoidant attachment styles he or she has developed. Several cases (7.5%) with large gaps between the true and false Facebook-self were detected, which implies that future research should consider the adverse consequences and treatments of high levels of false Facebook-self.
Gil-Or, O., Levi-Belz, Y., & Turel, O. (2015). The “Facebook-self”: Characteristics and psychological predictors of false self-presentation on Facebook. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(FEB). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00099