What is your online personality? You are what you post

Why the Internet is making you act more like your Avatar. Feeling impulsive and impatient? Blame the Internet.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

A Stanford psychiatrist has seen conditions like obsessive compulsive behavior (OCD) manifest in people who use the Internet. There's no denying the web changes everyone who uses it.

The web changes you, and the web changes me. It can make us impulsive, and make it difficult to focus on anything. The professor writes about our love for the Internet and all things technology in his new book, Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality.

Stanford University psychiatrist Elias Aboujaoude told ABC News:

I see my book as my attempt at dissecting this thing called an e-personality – the changes that happen in our personalities when we go online, the new traits that we take on. What I see, more and more, we are starting to resemble our avatars.

Author Nicholas Carr has been writing about how surfing the Internet is making us lose our ability to focus and making it harder to think deeply.

Aboujaoude agrees, saying living out our desires online makes us impatient and fuels our narcissism.

On that note, it's time for me to sign into Facebook and post a photo from last night, surf the Net and write some emails. Then I will actually have to go outside into the real world and meet a friend for lunch. And then I'll tweet what I'm having for lunch.

How do you think the Internet has changed you? And how do you act online? Are you one of those people who like to write mean comments on blogs? If you are, here's your chance to write something nice!

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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