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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Internet and digital technologies present abundant opportunities for individuals to manage the impressions they make on others. The ubiquitous nature of the Internet means that for most, presenting the self to other individuals via the Internet is a common, usually daily activity. This chapter examines the nature of online impression management through the lens of Goffman’s (1959) self-presentation theory and Leary and Kowalski’s (1990) two-component model of impression management. It provides definitions of impression management and self-presentation and considers where they overlap. It deliberates on the general motivations and processes involved in managing the impressions of others. It reflects on the differences between managing impressions online and offline and the different factors permitting a more flexible approach to self-presentation. It discusses factors that predict people’s propensity to experiment with self-presentation online and concludes with consideration of how a more flexible approach to impression management impacts on the self.

Keywords: impression management, self-presentation, impression motivation, impression construction, online self-presentation

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