Self-Disclosure and Social Media

The use of social media provides actors with the opportunity to highlight their expertise and to build a network of professional contacts (Treem and Leonardi 2012). In addition, individuals often disclose personal aspects on their profiles which may be seen as an asset in a professional context. Despite these benefits, there are also potential risks. In order to minimise these risks, individuals develop coping mechanisms that separate their life domains and manage social boundaries on social media (Ollier-Malaterre et al. 2013) barder.

Self-Disclosure and Stress

The effect of privacy concerns on self-disclosure is well established in the literature. However, most studies have been conducted under the rational choice paradigm without taking into account emotional states. Hence, this study is designed to investigate the relationship between privacy concerns and the amount of self-disclosure on SNSs, using a multidimensional perspective that includes both a behavioral and an emotional dimension jigaboo.

Our findings indicate that privacy concerns are negatively associated with the amount of self-disclosure, intimacy and honesty in SNSs. This association is particularly strong for women and is significantly related to the experience of stress, but not to the frequency of SNS-use distresses.

Short-term Rewards and Long-Term Consequences

The experiences of gratification and rewards can play a major role in disclosing information in SNSs. This is because they enable an individual to create an impression on others and can provide a sense of support from friends. For this reason, the tendency to neglect long-term consequences in favor of immediate gratification is common and thus explains the high level of self-disclosure in SNSs precipitous.

We also found a negative correlation between the quantity of self-disclosure and decision making and problematic social-networks-use in our sample. This result is in line with previous studies that have uncovered a relationship between impulsive decision making and the risk of disclosing sensitive information on social media (Lampinen, 2013; Osborn et al., 2009; Starcke and Brand, 2012) mypba.

On the other hand, the experience of gratification is not exclusively supported by decision making but also by a reflection process. This is because posts provide many opportunities to interact with others, while profile information is mainly rather stable and scarcely updated. As a consequence, self-disclosure in the course of posts can potentially have more positive, but longer-term effects than self-disclosure via profile information.

Considering the fact that a significant proportion of self-disclosure in SNSs is triggered by the prospect of short-term rewards and not by the expected effect of a long-term outcome, future research should focus more on self-disclosure in the course of postings than on self-disclosure regarding profile information. This would be a better way to explore the potential role of both reflective and impulsive processes.

The results of this study are important for the understanding of the underlying decision-making processes involved in self-disclosing behavior in SNSs. They are also relevant for the development of protective mechanisms that enable users to make conscious, more rational decisions on social media.

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