10/7 – Impression Management 2.0

In Impression Management 2.0: The Relationship of Self-Esteem, Extraversion, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Presentation Within Social Networking Sites, Nicole C. Kramer and Stephan Winter show how self-efficacy plays a significant role in the online impression management of one’s self. 

Kramer and Winter argue that the motivations of online behavior is linked to how individuals want to present themselves. The authors were interested in looking at why individuals present themselves in the way they do on social media. To conduct their study on this topic, the authors analyzed users on StudiVZ. StudiVZ is a German social media platform with almost three million active users in which people can make personal profiles and join group lists. While they did not find a strong link between self presentation and self-esteem, it was found that self-effiacy was strongly related to online impression management (114). The definition of self-efficacy is an “optimistic belief about one’s own abilities and a feeling of competence and effectiveness with regard to completing a certain task,” (114). Therefore, those that feel confident in presenting themselves in-person will also do that in social media settings. Specifically, the authors noted that people with high levels of self-efficacy may present themselves in a more informal or elaborate way (114). Overall, users are aware of their communications on social media and how they present themselves, especially because they have more time to consciously control their behavior (in comparison to in-person communications). 

The arguments presented by Kramer and Winter are interesting, but the results and methods are slightly flawed. The random sample of 150 StudiVZ users (with ultimately 58 users responding to the questionnaire) made the results of this study seem reliable, but a larger sample size would have been beneficial. It was surprising that the authors found little to no link between self-esteem and self presentation. Future research should focus more on self-esteem to see if the results remain true, especially in relation to popular apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Furthermore, I think that the form of a questionnaire could be subjective and people could have reporting biases in relation to what types of pictures they post and how they perceive themselves. Overall, the topic is interesting and applicable as these platforms are so embedded into our social lives and behaviors, but the methods of the study could be modified.

3 thoughts on “10/7 – Impression Management 2.0

  1. I read this article as well and also thought it was interesting that there researchers found no link between self-esteem and self-presentation. While reading the results, I was definitely expecting to see a connection between the two variables. For example, I would think that those with a higher self-esteem may not care as much how people perceive them online. Or, people with higher self-esteem may put more work into their profiles in order to portray that confidence. I wonder whether they would have found a connection between the two if there was a larger sample.

  2. I did not read this article, but I find the conclusion that people with high levels of self-efficacy may present themselves in a more informal or elaborate way. I never thought about the correlation between the two factors. After reading this post, it makes a lot of sense that a person’s belief in oneself would lead to more confidence and therefore taking social media less seriously. It does seem like the method of study could use some work. I wonder when this study was conducted, because I would be really surprised if researchers did not find a link between self-esteem and self presentation in 2021.

  3. I think you make some really interesting points in your analysis of the flaws in this study. I believe that a more popular platform, such as Instagram or Snapchat, would definitely make this study more reliable and overall have some different results. From my interactions with these platforms, I find that we try to present ourselves in a way that is appealing to other users. I know many people who post and make it look like they are happy or having a great time with whatever they are doing, but are actually not. For example, people who struggle at college will make it look like they are loving the experience, but are really struggling. Also, with the usage of filters and editing techniques, people constantly use these strategies to appear more attractive in their posts, such as whitening their teeth, making themselves skinnier, and smoothing out any parts of their body they think are unattractive. I personally believe that the people who utilize these techniques the most have the least amount of self-esteem.

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