Social media cultivating perceptions of privacy: A 5-year analysis of privacy attitudes and self-disclosure behaviors among Facebook users

In light of the omnipresence of personal information exchange in the virtual world, this study examines the effects of Facebook use on privacy perceptions and self-disclosure behaviors across a 5-year period from 2010 to 2015. Findings at the global level support the socializing role of Facebook in cultivating more relaxed privacy attitudes, subsequently increasing self-disclosure in both offline and online contexts. However, longitudinal trends indicate that while risk perceptions increased for heavy users, they remained stable for light users. Furthermore, the negative relationship between privacy concerns and self-disclosure weakened across time. Implications for the application of cultivation theory to a contemporary social media context and the year-to-year changes in the impact of Facebook use on privacy attitudes and self-disclosure are discussed.