Individuals change and adapt their behavior according to their social situation (e.g., transitioning from work to home). However, how does this shape shifting of self-presentations and identity translate into various online platforms? This exploratory study utilizes a novel and mixed methodological approach to better understand user behavior across social media platforms. We interviewed 22 participants and employed a repertory grid technique to reveal deeper similarities and differences in behavior across various online platforms. We found that users had a variety of strategies for managing multiple audiences across multiple platforms. Almost all participants actively separated their professional (e.g., LinkedIn) and social (e.g., Facebook or Instagram) oriented platforms typically by self-censorship of posts rather than utilizing audience management tools. Via the repertory grid technique, we revealed a number of more subtle nuances of how participants reflect on how and why they maintain a number of social media identities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Media and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • audience management
  • online identity
  • repertory grids
  • self-presentation
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Computer Science Applications


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