A new study suggests that Facebook users who haven’t worried about what other people might think about them might worry about what other people think about them. The study also suggests that this is more true of some people than of others. (Thanks to investigator Erwin Kompanje for bringing this to our attention.) The study is:
“Awkward Encounters of an “Other” Kind: Collective Self-Presentation and Face Threat on Facebook,” Eden Litt, Erin Spottswood, Jeremy Birnholtz [pictured here], Jeff Hancock, Madeline E. Smith, and Lindsay Reynolds, to appear in Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Baltimore, MD, February 15-19. The authors, at Northwestern University, explain:
“The information users share about one another can have significant impacts on impression formation, and at times this other-generated content may be face threatening, or challenging to one’s desired self-presentation….
“THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS: While we tend to emphasize the ‘self’ when thinking about and researching self-presentation, our study highlights that others can influence and pose challenges to our self-presentation goals on social network sites like Facebook. While others influence self-presentation and threaten face in a range of situations, our results showcase unique attributes of social network sites that can make this particularly challenging. “
BONUS: The HealthDay news site reports on this study, in an efficiently space-filling manner: “Survey found those intent on putting best face forward were likelier to feel bad about online miscues”
BONUS: A Beatles song, “I, me, mine”: