Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Social media has become an integral part of connecting with others and sharing personal information. As more individuals use social media to express themselves, organizations have begun using these same sites to make hiring decisions in a process called cybervetting. Although some researchers suggest that cybervetting has consequences for self-expression, currently little research has explored how cybervetting impacts job seekers’ social media use and identity creation. Accordingly, this study uses quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how cybervetting impacts job seekers’ social media use and online identity creation. By surveying job-seeking social media users, this study measures the relationships between social media use, concern for cybervetting, Communication Privacy Management and facework behaviors, and social media privacy tools. The results from the survey indicate a relationship between social media use and concern for cybervetting, a heavy use of social media privacy tools, and real accounts of social media behavior changes due to cybervetting, but do not show a direct relationship between a concern for cybervetting and Communication Privacy Management and facework behaviors. Although the results point to conflicting findings, this study sheds light on the evolving nature of cybervetting, social media use, and its impact on online identity creation, emphasizing a call for future research.