Self-Disclosure under Social Networking Sites

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Chen, X., & Cai, S. (2012). Self disclosure under Social Networking Sites: a Risk-Utility Decision Model.

In this time and age technology has seen tremendous growth and development. This has consequently led to new ways of communicating with friends, family and even meeting new people. This has been mostly made possible and easy by social networking sites which also provide easy sharing of information. These networking sites require the user to make self-disclosures by asking for certain personal details on signing up. The degree to which people may be willing to share their information publicly varies. This might depend on the need for recognition and social status. It also depends on the crowd one wishes to attract, the need for anonymity and generally the disclosers’ psychological state.

Perceived privacy risk is one factor that affects self disclosure (Chen and Cai, 2012). It can be defined as the uncertainty of just how secure private one’s private information in social networking sites is. Privacy risk is concerned with whether the information submitted on the internet will be used for malicious purposes or in a way that the owner of the information does not foresee or expect. The expectation of social networking sites users to have their privacy preserved and protected from unauthorized use can be termed as the perceived trust of users. This is also in the faith that fellow users are trustworthy, and the site is reliable. However, perceived information on control ability minimizes the perceived risk hence a plus for self-disclosure under social networking sites.

On the other hand, users have a perceived utility in the use of social sites. This is created by the notion that commenting and contributing to online discussions can be mutually helpful. Participating in such a vast public domain yields benefits both to the individual and their network of friends. These reciprocal benefits actualize the perceived utility of using social networking sites. 

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