GENDER DIFFERENCES IN IDENTITY PROFILES OF INDIVIDUALS IN SOCIAL MEDIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS ON FACEBOOK USERS IN AFGHANISTAN AND TURKEY

Abstract

Author(s): Laily HABIB, ?lknur AYDO?DU KARAASLAN

The development of technologies provides several changes to be held in the daily life of individuals. Today, social media is being used increasingly. However, the infrastructures of information and communication technologies of different geographies or different countries are not yet widely used. Their level of use varies in terms of features like individuals’ religious beliefs, thoughts, lifestyles, cultures, etc. For this reason, it display activity by reflecting different usage levels and visibility features within different social relationship patterns. Thus, many social relationships and interactions are maintained through information and communication technologies. Therefore, it is seen that individuals interact by changing their identity profiles for different reasons during the use of information technologies and social media. They give real and unrealistic individual characteristics information in the identity profile. In this context, the concept of "virtual identity" becomes important. Many users can communicate with fake IDs by hiding their real identity. Therefore, it becomes important to investigate and reveal why and how fake IDs are used. In this study, the reasons and effects of creating fake identities are investigated by considering the gender differences of Facebook users in Afghanistan and Turkey. As a result of this study, as in other countries, Facebook users in Afghanistan and Turkey create fake identities and their reasons differentiate. Most of the young women in Afghanistan use fake identities and multiple profiles because of fear, family and community pressure, insecurity, while women in Turkey use fake profiles to follow their boyfriend, to enter comic pages and to engage in deceptive actions. Additionally, through photographs and other images used in advertisements in social media, social gender often introduces role determinants as social norms. However, it is one of the most interesting outcomes for users to express their gender differently in a virtual environment.

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