London, Aug 23: If you thought young people posting content on social media that contains sexual or offensive material were just being impulsive, think again! A new study says that such risky posts might be a deliberate strategy to fit in with the wider social media culture.
Social media culture promotes risky posts: Study
Young adults think it is the best way to behave, said lead researcher Claire White from University of Plymouth in England.
To measure risky online self-presentation, the research team designed a risk exposure scale relating to potentially ippropriate images or texts, such as drug and alcohol use, sexual content, persol information, and offensive material.
They also evaluated people’s level of self-monitoring and impulsivity.
“The results show that high self-monitors are just as likely to post risky content as those in the study who are more impulsive, which suggests they think it’s not only OK to be risky — and potentially offensive — but that it’s actually the right thing to do,” White said.
For the study, published in the jourl Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking, 178 British and Italian participants were recruited to complete an online questionire. All were undergraduate students, who received course credit for their participation.
“The only notable difference between the tiolities was that British students were more likely to post comments and images related to their alcohol and drug use on social media, whereas their Italian counterparts were more likely to post offensive content and persol information,” White said.
“This difference shows that culture as a whole seems to play a part in what type of content is shared. But the fact that the behaviours predicting risky online choices are the same for both tiolities suggests there’s a wider social media culture that encourages this type of risk-taking behaviour,” White added. (IANS)