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Communication technology is challenging traditional self-presentation strategies and behavior. Deliberate image construction is becoming more difficult because of the increasing number of information sources about individuals online. The present study examines a range of self-presentation behaviors on social network sites (SNS) by drawing on impression motivation, contingencies of self-worth, and the analysis of social network structure. Results from the survey data show that users (N = 248) who stake their self-esteem on public evaluations and have heterogeneous social networks are more strategic in the management of tagged photos and text-based updates in the form of wall posts. Furthermore, the interaction between network size and diversity predicts how often users share photos. Implications for improving privacy management tools on SNS and educating users about strategic self-presentation are discussed.
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Keywords: computer-mediated communication; social media; social networking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Communication, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, 356 Baldy Hall Buffalo, NY, 14260, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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