Contents Introduction Methodology Results Discussion and conclusion Introduction For many of the over a billion Internet users (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2009), the Internet seems to serve an important social function, providing convenient and simple methods to establish or sustain connections with others.
The Internet also presents opportunities for people to manage their online personas, for example with brief and informal written descriptions (Wallace, 1999).
It is therefore easy to see why certain individuals may prefer to present themselves online.
With the increasing popularity of social networking sites (SNSs), it is now relatively easy, even for novice users, to have an online presence.
Since chat rooms can be used for anti–social purposes, the type and extent of the information posted in chat room profiles seems likely to be different from that in online profiles for social networking sites, which may be more closely tied to offline identities.
This investigation of information in 324 profiles from two chat rooms for adults found that most users include a picture of themselves on their profile, hence apparently tying themselves to their offline identity.
For example, pictures can be carefully selected and even edited.Therefore, communications will take place primarily between individuals who have had some form of previous contact off–line.One place where encounters with strangers are likely to take place more frequently however is the chat room (Nie and Erbring, 2002; Mileham, 2007).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.