Jul 06, 2007
Disembodiment in Online Social Interaction
Disembodiment in Online Social Interaction: Impact of Online Chat on Social Support and Psychosocial Well-Being
Cyberpsychology & Behaviour, Jun 2007, Vol. 10, No. 3 : 475 -477
Seok Kang, Ph.D.
This study investigates how disembodiment—that is, transcendence of body constraints in cyberspace—in online chat affects social psychological well-being. The results demonstrate that disembodiment is a strong predictor of increased loneliness and depression, and decreased social support. However, the amount of chat use is a positive contributor to decreased offline estrangement and depression, and increased happiness. These contrasting results suggest that online chat use is a technology for social connection used for offline connectivity, but the disembodiment motive is associated with declines in social support and psychosocial well-being. The investigation of specified motives for online interaction, personal competency, or advanced technological alternatives in interaction is suggested for future research on the effects of online interaction on offline outcomes.