Self-presentations are goal-directed acts designed by individuals to convey particular images of their selves and thereby influence how they are perceived and treated by various audiences (Goffman, 1959). Recent literature suggests that individuals are increasingly interacting with their workplace colleagues on personal networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In such overlapping interactions, individuals often move swiftly and in an asymmetric fashion between physical-virtual settings and personal-professional life. Presumably, diverse self-presentations across physical-virtual settings and personal-professional life may create conflicts or tensions.
Drawing on 31 semi-structured interviews, this thesis explores the self-presentations of Indian IT professionals on social media. Overall, the analysis suggests that in most cases, respondents enacted diverse self-presentations across physical-virtual settings and personal-professional life. In such cases, they expressed concerns that overlapping audiences may view their self-presentations on social media out-of-context and inevitably misconstrue their professional image.
From a theoretical perspective, the thesis illustrates that individuals who exercise region behavior experience cognitive discomfort when they enact self-presentations on social media as overlapping self-presentations are inevitable. From a practical perspective, empirical evidence suggests that employees take their interactions on social media seriously and thus dispute managers arguments that interacting on social media is merely a time-pass .
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.