Click here to look clever: self-presentation via selective sharing of music and film on social media

Benjamin K. Johnson*, Giulia Ranzini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Sharing mass media content through social network sites has become a prevalent practice that provides individuals with social utility and cultural capital. This behavior is examined here by testing how different self-presentational motivations may produce selective patterns of sharing media content in social networks. An other-ideal motive was expected to drive sharing of popular media, an own-ideal motive was expected to drive sharing of prestigious media, and an actual-self motive was expected to drive sharing of guilty pleasures. An online experiment (N = 168) invoked motivational situations, then asked participants to list songs and films they would share on Facebook. These media were then rated for perceptions. Predictions regarding unique and prestigious media, but not guilty pleasures, were supported. People with the other-ideal motive to fit with group tastes shared less unique music and film, and people with the own-ideal motive to present their best possible selves shared more prestigious music and film. Individual differences in need for uniqueness moderated effects of own-ideal and actual-self motives, and the intensity of Facebook use moderated the effect of other-ideal on media sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume82
Issue numberMay
Early online date3 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Entertainment
  • Impression motivation
  • Media sharing
  • Self-discrepancy
  • Self-presentation
  • Social network sites

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