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Completion of the survey involved responding to questions using likert-type scales, including the Cheek and Buss (1981) Sociability and Shyness Scale, and providing open-ended responses to questions.

The survey was distributed to the Australian public through advertisements on social networking sites and in local newspapers, and through the use of a ‘snowballing’ approach using email distribution.

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However, negatives are evident (Cross et al., 2009), with much media attention focused on the ‘dangers’ of online social networking such as bullying and inappropriate use of personal information.

The 2010 National Psychology Week (NPW) research project sought to explore the social and psychological impact of online social networking in Australian adults with a focus on: This article presents the findings of the research project, which generated a large amount of attention during this year’s National Psychology Week.

Fourteen per cent of survey respondents were male (n = 256) and 73 per cent were female (n = 1,344).

Thirteen per cent of respondents did not disclose their gender.

A set of tips to promote positive online social networking were developed to accompany the media release about the NPW survey findings.

The APS survey media release was picked up all around Australia and internationally online, and reached more than 2.3 million people in Australia alone through the print media.There is no doubt that young people are often more eager about embracing new technologies than adults and become highly skilled very quickly.They are also more vulnerable and less inhibited in their communication than adults and therefore may become exposed to risks.A range of other organisations have contacted the APS requesting information about the research project, including the Department of Justice (Vic) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.An online survey was developed and targeted both users and nonusers of online social networking sites.2010 National Psychology Week research project Online social networking has proliferated as a communication tool.