Temporary sharing prompts unrestrained disclosures that leave lasting negative impressions
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CitationHofstetter, Reto, Roland Rüppell, and Leslie K. John. 2017. “Temporary sharing prompts unrestrained disclosures that leave lasting negative impressions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (45): 11902-11907. doi:10.1073/pnas.1706913114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1706913114.
AbstractWith the advent of social media, the impressions people make on others are based increasingly on their digital disclosures. However, digital disclosures can come back to haunt, making it challenging for people to manage the impressions they make. In field and online experiments in which participants take, share, and evaluate self-photographs (“selfies”), we show that, paradoxically, these challenges can be exacerbated by temporary-sharing media—technologies that prevent content from being stored permanently. Relative to permanent sharing, temporary sharing affects both whether and what people reveal. Specifically, temporary sharing increases compliance with the request to take a selfie (study 1) and induces greater disclosure risks (i.e., people exhibit greater disinhibition in their selfies, studies 1 and 2). This increased disclosure is driven by reduced privacy concerns (study 2). However, observers’ impressions of sharers are insensitive to permanence (i.e., whether the selfie was shared temporarily versus permanently) and are instead driven by the disinhibition exhibited in the selfie (studies 4–7). As a result, induced by the promise of temporary sharing, sharers of uninhibited selfies come across as having worse judgment than those who share relatively discreet selfies (studies 1, 2, and 4–7)—an attributional pattern that is unanticipated by sharers (study 3), that persists days after the selfie has disappeared (study 5), is robust to personal experience with temporary sharing (studies 6A and 6B), and holds even among friends (studies 7A and 7B). Temporary sharing may bring back forgetting, but not without introducing new (self-presentational) challenges.
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