UBC Psychology professor Amori Mikami explores what shapes our online behaviour

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Dr. Amori Mikami

In a recent interview posted by UBC ArtsWIRE, clinical psychology professor Amori Mikami offers some compelling insights into modern-day internet phenomena such as online bullying and compulsive over-sharing.

She suggests that we shouldn’t be too quick to characterize online bullies as a new breed: ” I’ve done a couple of different studies now, where I’ve looked at comparisons between teenagers’ offline behavior with their friends versus their online behavior. And what I found is that there are more similarities than differences.”

Mikami also describes some current issues in the field of social media research. “I’ve been studying Facebook for years,” she says, “but of course I’m aware of people moving more into Instagram, especially teens and university-age students. The whole field is just starting to catch up on Facebook, and they haven’t even jumped into Instagram yet, or Tinder. So because of how long it takes research to catch up with what people are actually doing, there’s this huge backlog. And it probably also doesn’t help that a lot of times, the professors who would be in the position to do the research are older than the people who are using the social media.”