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Furthermore, older users are more likely to post information about relationship status and location than younger users.
These sex and age differences in profile content may be a consequence of the different motivations for using the service as well as disparities in self–disclosure norms.
One does not need to be proficient in computer programming to design a simple online profile as a means to interact with others.
Although Lenhart and Madden (2007) found that that 49 percent of U. teens using SNSs do so to make new friends, the existing literature suggests that SNSs are used principally to maintain pre–existing off–line networks (boyd and Ellison, 2007; Ellison, , 2007).
Therefore, this study is principally interested in investigating the types of profile information that chat room users make available about themselves so comparisons can be made with previous findings from profile construction studies on social networking and blog sites.
Self–disclosure has been described as the process by which we tell others about ourselves (Jourard, 1971), the revelation and concealment of private information (Burgoon, 1982) and more recently as the divulging of intimate information about the self (Derlega, , 1993).
One place where encounters with strangers are likely to take place more frequently however is the chat room (Nie and Erbring, 2002; Mileham, 2007).
Indeed, Nie and Erbring (2002) report that the “overwhelming majority” of chat room interactions take place between individuals who are anonymous and not known to one another.
For this reason, effectively managing first impressions through the construction of the profile would seem to be particularly relevant in the chat room.
Nevertheless, the majority remain anonymous, probably many more than for social networking sites and blog authors.
There are sex differences in the types of information posted on chat room profiles, with women tending to include more personal information.
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One would expect that many chat room users would choose whether or not to interact with another member on the basis of the information presented in their profile.