Overall, identity ranked as the third-most important reason for sharing content, after wanting to entertain (44% of respondents) and wanting to educate (25%).
The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 people in the United States. Using an abbreviated version of the Social Science Aspects of Identity Questionnaire, the researchers asked participants to rank the importance of five broad facets of identity—personal, relational, social, collective, and superficial—when they share on social media.
- 84% of respondents ranked relational identity (reflecting a commitment to a partner, family, close friends, etc.) as an important reason why they share content online.
- 63% ranked personal identity (reflecting personal values and morals) as an important factor.
- 41% said social identity (reflecting popularity, physical appearance, etc.) is important.
- Less than 10% of respondents ranked collective identity (reflecting belonging to a larger group, such as a generation, gender, religion, etc.) as being important in influencing what they share online.
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