Protecting military identities by changing online behavior : a uses and gratification approach




Clift, Amber Christine

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This report will take an in depth look at the uses and gratification theory to understand how to change online behavior to protect military identities. Social media use is motivated by two fundamental needs: belonging and self-presentation. The Uses and Gratification Theory focuses on how people deliberately seek out media to fulfil certain needs such as socializing, diversion, information gathering, and personal identity. The Social Cognitive Theory further explains that people continue or increase social media usage when gratification obtained meets or exceeds gratification sought. Research shows that social media users lack an understanding of the threats associated with sharing too much personal information online and most do not realize they can protect their information they do share. The Uses and Gratification Theory indicates social networking site user’s psychological needs are met by using social media. Therefore, asking or directing military members to stay off social media is not the answer to protecting military identities. Educating military members about the threats to identity and how to mitigate risk is a more realistic approach.



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