1 Introduction</h5> Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, constantly asks its users one question: “What is on your mind?” And they answer with a multitude of short messages in which they share thoughts, experiences, or emotions with their friends – varying from rather trivial information on the weather or their breakfast to intimate disclosures on love affairs, break-ups or personal crises. These messages offer a novel form of “effortless and fast one-to-many communication” ( Deters & Mehl, 2013, p. 580 ) which has become very popular among users of social networking sites (SNS): 44% of Facebook users update their status at least once a week ( Hampton, Goulet, Rainie, & Purcell, 2011 ). According to estimations, around 400 million Facebook status messages are written every day ( Fitzgerald, 2012 ).</P>This immense popularity and the fact that many people have integrated Facebook into their daily communicative routine may indicate that the usage of SNS in general and status updates in particular is helpful in fulfilling basic social needs such as staying in contact with acquaintances and for identity construction (e.g., Nadkarni & Hofmann, 2012 ). However, especially status updates as (semi-)public messages might also complicate patterns of interpersonal
Computers in Human Behavior – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2014
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