The purpose of this presentation is to present recent findings on the use of the Internet as a means for interacting for insecure people.
One of the main motivations for Internet use is social communication. Internet as a means for communicating allows socially anxious people to be more comfortable and confident in interactions, compared with face-to-face interactions. Insecure people experience anxiety in relationships. Online interactions, by reducing anxiety, could impact the use of the Internet by providing a safe way of interacting. This study aims to better understand the link between attachment and the social use of the Internet.
Two hundred participants (mean age: 30.3 years) completed anonymous online self-report questionnaires: the Internet Motives Questionnaire and the Relationship Scale Questionnaire, which assesses attachment.
Results show a link between: 1) insecure attachment and the use of the Internet to communicate more securely; 2) insecure attachment and the use of the Internet to stay connected with others. The association between insecure attachment and the use of the Internet to stay connected with others was mediated by the use of the Internet to communicate more securely.
Insecure persons feel they have less social skills than secure ones. Results suggest that they use the Internet to overcome social difficulties due to the safe environment it provides. Because of the specific characteristics of online interactions (eg., anonymous, asynchronous…), they may seem less threatening than “real-life” interactions by insecure people.