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Sharing articles on Facebook and Twitter might be harmful for you: Details

The research suggests there's merit to social media companies that have piloted ways to encourage people to read articles before sharing.

Saumya Nigam Edited By: Saumya Nigam Noida Published on: August 31, 2022 18:12 IST
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Sharing articles on Facebook or Twitter, even when we have not read them might lead us to believe that we are the experts on a particular topic and this could be a risky situation, as per the new research.

Sharing news articles on various topics with your friends and followers on the social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, can prompt people to think that they know more about the articles' topics related to certain incidence, but that is half the formation to be precise, according to a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin in the US.

Adrian Ward, Assistant Professor at The University of Texas said, "When people feel they're more knowledgeable, they're more likely to make riskier decisions."

A study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology has stated that social media sharers think that they have the whole knowledge related to the content they share on their walls, no matter if they have read the article or not.

The finding states that: "Sharing can create this rise in confidence because by putting information online, sharers publicly commit to an expert identity. Doing so shapes their sense of self, helping them to feel just as knowledgeable as their post makes them seem." 

To reach this conclusion, Susan M Broniarczyk and Ward Broniarczyk conducted several studies.

Both the researchers have found out that people internalise their sharing into the self-concept, which leads them to believe that they are as knowledgeable as their posts make them appear.

"Participants thought they knew more when their sharing publicly committed them to an expert identity: when sharing under their own identity versus an alias, when sharing with friends versus strangers, and when they had free choice in choosing what to share," the study says.

The research has further suggested that there's merit to social media companies that have piloted ways in order to encourage people to read the articles before sharing.

"If people feel more knowledgeable on a topic, they also feel they maybe don't need to read or learn additional information on that topic," Broniarczyk said. "This miscalibrated sense of knowledge can be hard to correct."

Inputs from IANS

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