Kolja Sam Pluemer

Some takeaways from old school social media research

My summary of Taddicken (2013)


There was a time when discourse about social media was not inevitably intertwined with China-US politics like the Panama canal, a time where Facebook was a yet unproven upstart next to MySpace. A very weird time. And quite long ago, of course.

A triceratops posting on Facebook

Dinosaur exhibiting the Privacy Paradox

Even back then, socials were a point of interest for a lot of researchers. Today, these papers often feel more nostalgic than useful, but they are nonetheless interesting.

For this reason, I am reading (and summarizing) some of them - today’s article is about some of my key takeaways from The ‘Privacy Paradox’ in the Social Web: The Impact of Privacy Concerns, Individual Characteristics, and the Perceived Social Relevance on Different Forms of Self-Disclosure.

It’s actually chock-full of intertwined models, but in my usual laziness here are some more or less standalone key facts:

  • A fundamental raison d’être for this paper is the Privacy Paradox, which is the tendency of people to be aware of and concerned about their privacy in an online context while freely sharing private information on the very same web.
  • The author corroborates this concept by noting the absence of a relationship between privacy concerns and the level of sharing that the same people engage in.
  • Instead, the paper forwards the following cool explanations: How much people share on socials is related to…just how much people self-disclose in general, and how important they consider social media for their social life to be.

Especially the last point is kind of the most interesting to me - it shows that people’s behavior is sometimes not so much related to the technology involved. Like in this case, where a behavior deeply mediated by technology is still simply explained by what you might call someones character. Important to keep in mind.

Thanks for reading! This post is part of my series of reading and summarizing papers, mostly relating to UX. I use a casual tone because that’s the most fun to me. That means my interpretation of a given paper may be off. Or incomplete. Or plain wrong. Always think for yourself, and for the love of God, don’t cite this in an academic context. Use the original article instead. Cheers!