Who commits virtual identity suicide? Differences in privacy concerns, Internet addiction, and personality between Facebook users and quitters

Stefan Stieger, Christoph Burger, Manuel Bohn, Martin Voracek

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social networking sites such as Facebook attract millions of users by offering highly interactive social communications. Recently, a counter movement of users has formed, deciding to leave social networks by quitting their accounts (i.e., virtual identity suicide). To investigate whether Facebook quitters (n=310) differ from Facebook users (n=321), we examined privacy concerns, Internet addiction scores, and personality. We found Facebook quitters to be significantly more cautious about their privacy, having higher Internet addiction scores, and being more conscientious than Facebook users. The main self-stated reason for committing virtual identity suicide was privacy concerns (48 percent). Although the adequacy of privacy in online communication has been questioned, privacy is still an important issue in online social communications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior, Addictive/psychology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet/statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality
  • Personality Assessment
  • Privacy/psychology
  • Social Media/statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult

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