(Ed - brought to you by my, myself, him and I)
Teenage girls are more likely to maintain multiple online personas than other groups, according to an unexpected finding from an academic survey of how Americans use the Internet released on Wednesday.
"We're not sure why female teenagers are more likely to reveal personal details about themselves," said Jeff Cole, director of the Center for Communication Policy at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), which produced the second annual report.
"It may be a part of growing up and exploring and trying different things," Cole told Reuters. "I don't think it's anything sinister."
Nearly 4 percent of girls aged 16 to 18, and more women in all age categories except for the 36 to 45 range, said they use multiple online screen names, each with its own personality.
The study came to other conclusions about Internet usage and how it has changed over the past year, including the observations that Americans seem to be using the Internet more for information than entertainment and are spending more time on the Web but shopping online less.
The Center for Communication Policy will follow up on some of the more intriguing conclusions, including the online role-playing, with focus groups and more research, Cole said. "Now we have a couple of months to really dig and find out not just what happens, but why it happens," Cole said.
Individuals over the age of 12 from more than 2,000 randomly selected U.S. households were surveyed for the study. Most of the survey sample was also interviewed for the study last year.
News source: reuters.com