Social media is a crucial part of individual’s lives and shows no signs of dissipating. We are constantly checking our phones for the latest information and even if an individual chooses not to be active on social media, someone else is most likely incorporating them in tagged photos. Research by Smith 2015, shows that over 64% of Americans own a smartphone with shows the potential for the formation and management of impressions online to increase. Facebook, which is one of the most commonly used social networking sites (SNS), many individuals are skeptical of the individuals that do not have a Facebook account. The social networking site has been on the rise, which leads to the opportunity to explore what content people are choosing to share on Facebook and how they are representing their identities online.
The studies listed below show the current uses of self-disclosure and representation online and how individuals choose to self-disclose on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Impression Management Theory has been used in multiple research studies applied to Facebook. In Erving Goffman’s, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), he starts with the famous quote by Shakespeare saying, “all the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players. They have their exits and their entrances: and one man in his time plays many parts.” This quote gives a simplified example of what the theory is. The theory analyzes how individuals have different sides for the multiple platforms they align themselves with. When an individual places himself among others, he tends to act differently than if he were alone (Goffman, 1959). Humans are concerned with how we are viewed and how our status is perceived. Go...
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...ckerman, 2011). They also discovered that members of the Facebook community tend to self-disclose to distant friends rather than close friends, which was not found in earlier research.
Conclusion and Future Research
Research shows that individuals are influenced by how others perceive them online and that we have the tendency to turn away from negative interpretations of friends (Tong, 2013). Facebook is the biggest social networking site in the world (Ballve, 2013), which gives way to the opportunity to conduct research to understand how individuals choose to represent themselves online and what their motivations are. There are millions of members of the Facebook community which means eyes are everywhere when we make a post. There is potential research to investigate the connection between Facebook, as well as how and why individuals self-disclose over the internet.
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