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Title: Why should anyone publish personal life on the internet?: a study of online diaries
Authors: Tam, Man Ching
Department: Department of Applied Social Studies
Issue Date: 2005
Supervisor: Dr. Lang Graeme
Subjects: Technology
Online diaries
Paper diaries
Tool of communication
Psychological benefit
Rational choice theory
Abstract: Technology changes people’s daily life to a great deal. An obvious example to show how technology changes people’s previous form of life is – writing diary. Recently, it has been increasingly common for people to write online diaries (ODs). In the past, people usually write diary privately on a notebook or paper. Now, technology allows diaries to be published on the Internet. Although not everyone shift from writing paper diaries (PDs) to online diaries (ODs), however it is interesting to know why some people accept this change. The impacts of writing ODs on our daily lives and the reasons for the rapid expansion of OD usage are worthwhile to comprehend as well. This paper responds to the above queries by examining on how ODs are different from and similar to PDs. ODs perform the same function as PDs, that is, to record feelings of daily life. As ODs are open in a public space, they serve as a tool for communication and self-presentation. People use ODs to construct their self-image and to communicate with friends. Therefore, they inevitably play a role in social interaction. Furthermore, the inexpensive costs of trying to write ODs and its others attributions attract numerous OD users. OD users usually find psychological benefits more than psychological costs when writing ODs. Of course, there are resistors who choose not to write ODs or abandoners who decide to give up on writing ODs eventually. The different decisions of different people will also be analyzed, by applying the rational choice theory. This study concludes that ODs not only have influence on how people record a diary, but also their way of life. ODs offer an additional way for people to make communication and self-presentation. Due to its popularity, rapid expansion, and the fact that individuals use ODs or blogs differently, more research is needed to enrich people’s comprehension on how the use of OD would have an impact on our daily lives.
Appears in Collections:Applied Social Sciences - Undergraduate Final Year Projects - Sociology

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