“It allows me to be ‘me’”: Self-presentation, Authenticity, and Affordances among LGBTQ+ Social Media Users
Keywords:social media, identity, authenticity, social affordances, LGBTQ
LGBTQ+ social media users face many choices regarding their identity and self-presentation. We examined how feelings of authentic identity performances on social media involve social affordances using an online survey of LGBTQ+ individuals (N =159) who responded to open- ended questions about their social media use and self-presentation. Results of our thematic analysis indicated that LGBTQ+ users perceive tensions between communicating authentic versus inauthentic self-representations on social media and that feeling (in)authentic can be understood through social affordances. Whereas personalization and anonymity were described as enabling authenticity, editability and privacy affordances were described as inhibiting authenticity. Other affordances, including conversation control, persistence, social presence, and network association were tension-filled, supporting and constraining authenticity depending on how the user perceived them. We discuss our findings and implications concerning future research directions regarding affordances and self-presentation.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Michael Coker, Samantha Quinn, Grace O'Neil, Erin Ruppel
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
All articles in Human Communication & Technology are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License. Copyright is held by the author.