Girls Make Themselves Seem Crazy, Sexy, Stupid Online

by Liz Colville

The Girl Scout Research Institute puts out a lot of useful studies on young girls in America, and the latest explores the impact of social media on these ladies of the future. The news isn’t all bad, but the research does show that the adjectives girls 13–17 use to describe themselves change quite dramatically depending on whether they’re talking about their online or offline selves.

Talking about their face-to-face selves, the girls most often described themselves as “smart,” followed by “funny,” “kind,” “outgoing,” “fun,” “cool,” “a good influence,” and “socially confident.” But when talking about their online presences, the girls most often used the words “fun,” “funny,” and “social.” What’s played down the most online, researchers found, was intelligence, kindness, and being a good influence. Damn.

These figures went up in girls with low self-esteem, who more often described their online profiles as “sexy” and “crazy,” and were more likely to say that their online profiles didn’t really match their actual personalities.

Among the best news in this survey: 92 percent of the girls said they would give up social networking “if it meant keeping their best friend.” Why?! Are their best friends making them choose? [Via]