Social Media is one of the most prevalent forms of communication in today’s society. However, research has consistently noted that there are risks associated with the use of social media. The current study looks to understand what makes social media appealing to users that they forego or limit their privacy and security online. Consistent with previous research, the current study found that users considered both self-disclosure and self-exhibition as appealing characteristics of social media. Users want to both look at other users and expose themselves to other users. However, the findings indicated that the way users treat social media depends on their awareness and cognition of the risks of social media use. Users utilized the platforms to limit the information dispersed about them, but were not as limiting with service providers. The findings also indicated that users lacked knowledge or understanding of what "personal identifiable data" entails, to the detriment of their online privacy.
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Thesis advisor: Frank, Richard
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