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The perils and promises of self-disclosure on social media

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posted on 24.10.2017, 13:07 by Michelle RicheyMichelle Richey, Aparna Gonibeed, M.N. RavishankarM.N. Ravishankar
In addition to their professional social media accounts, individuals are increasingly using their personal profiles and casual posts to communicate their identities to work colleagues. They do this in order to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and to signal attributes that are difficult to showcase explicitly in a work setting. Existing studies have tended to treat personal posts viewed in a professional context as a problem, since they can threaten impression management efforts. These accounts focus on the attempts of individuals to separate their life domains on social media. In contrast, we present the narratives of professional IT workers in India who intentionally disrupt the boundaries between personal and professional profiles in order to get noticed by their employers. Drawing on the dramaturgical vocabulary of Goffman (1959) we shed light on how individuals cope with increased levels of self-disclosure on social media. We argue that their self-presentations can be likened to post-modern performances in which the traditional boundaries between actor and audience are intentionally unsettled. These casual posts communicate additional personal traits that are not otherwise included in professional presentations. Since there are no strict boundaries between formal front-stage and relaxed back-stage regions in these types of performance, a liminal mental state is often used, which enables a better assessment of the type of information to present on social media.

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Information Systems Frontiers

Citation

RICHEY, M., GONIBEED, A. and RAVISHANKAR, M.N., 2018. The perils and promises of self-disclosure on social media. Information Systems Frontiers, 20(3), pp 425–437.

Publisher

Springer Verlag © The Author(s)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

13/10/2017

Publication date

2018

Notes

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

ISSN

1572-9419

Language

en