Visiting Research Scholar
Fox School of Business, Temple University
October 8, 2010
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am
As information technology (IT) continues to permeate everyday life experiences, it is no longer simply a tool to improve task performance; people use technology to present themselves and fulfill their inner desires. Yet, there are few studies examining this new aspect of information technology.
To fill this gap in the literature, we propose the concept of self-presenting IT, a class of information technology whose primary purpose is to present users’ self-image, either actual or possible. We consider two examples of self-presenting IT: blogs and social network sites (SNS). We propose that actual and possible self-presentations can be either strategic or expressive and further argue that strategic self-presentation appeals to a cognitive assessment of technology, while expressive self-presentation appeals to an affective process. Finally, we argue that people are more likely to use SNS for actual self-presentations and blogs for possible self-presentations.
We test our theory using the data collected from 321 bloggers and 299 SNS users. Our findings reveal the separate roles of actual and possible self-presentation with blogs and SNS in influencing perceived usefulness and emotional attachment to IT. However, contrary to our expectation, perceived usefulness for self-presentation in isolation does not have a direct impact on a user’s commitment to IT. Our results show simply improving perceived usefulness is not enough to sustain the use of self-presenting IT – we must make sure that individuals are emotionally attached to IT to in order to strengthen their commitment to the technology.
For a copy of the paper, click here.