'Awkward' Facebook posts can cause greater anguish: Study

Washington, Dec. 10 : Facebook posts which are 'awkward' or embarrassing may cause greater anguish depending on who the user is and with whom the content has been shared, a new study has revealed.

One of the authors of the paper, Jeremy Birnholtz, from Northwestern University, said that they were interested in the strength of the emotional response to an encounter where something that made the participants feel uncomfortable was posted.

The study found that people most concerned about social appropriateness and those with a diverse network of friends on Facebook are more likely to strongly experience a "face threat'.

However, those people who felt they had a high level of Facebook skills reported experiencing these kinds of threats less severely.

Birnholtz explained that people with more Facebook experience, who know how to control settings, delete pictures and comments and untag, thought that they knew how to deal with these encounters or at least try to deal with them.

He noted that people with a high level of general Internet skills, those who may understand the importance of online reputations, also reported more severe reactions to face threats.

It was revealed that around most common type of threat reported was 'norm violations' accounting to 45 percent, when social norms are violated and one's behavior is exposed in a way that could lead to social and emotional consequences.

Other threats included ideal self-presentation violation, association effects and aggregate effect.

The researcher further said that people should think twice about a friend's Facebook audience before commenting on their content or posting to their page adding that in future Facebook could offer more pop-ups and nudges to help people think twice before posting a possible 'threat' to a friend's page.

--ANI (Posted on 10-12-2013)

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