Exploring Online Self-presentation in Computer-mediated environments - Motives and Reasons for Photo-tagging and untagging

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The purpose of this dissertation is to understand the online self-presentation behavior by investigating different reasons for the tagging and untagging of photos on different computer-mediated platforms. Particular emphases were given to the psychometrics, quantitative research methodology, and literature governing computer-mediated communication in order to deepen the existing understanding of its various aspects of this dissertation. Accordingly, five empirical studies have been conducted. Study I examined various Uses and Gratifications (U&G) of the photo-tagging activity among adolescent photo-taggers by developing a valid and reliable 35-item photo-tagging U&G instrument using three cross-sectional studies (N = 780, 313, 186); Study II examined the cross-cultural validity of the 35-item photo-tagging U&G instrument with Namibian adolescent and young-adult photo-taggers using two cross-sectional surveys (N = 358, 393); Study III investigates age and gender differences in the sought photo-tagging U&G by adolescent and young-adult photo-taggers (N = 780, 313, 178); Study IV examines the differences between those adolescents who do and do not untag photos (N = 380); and Study V investigates the different reasons due to which young people avoid photo-tagging by developing a valid and reliable 25-item Avoidance Photo-Tagging Use (APTU) instrument (N = 780, 313, 106). This dissertation reveals the following findings. First, a valid and reliable photo-tagging U&G instrument (35-item) addresses nine U&G of photo-tagging, namely likes and comments, social influence, peer pressure, gains popularity, entertainment, feels good, social sharing, affection, and convenience (Study I). Second, cross-cultural validation ensured that a 23-item photo-tagging U&G instrument possessed sufficient validity and reliability (Study II). Third, male adolescents sought higher "likes and comments" and "gain popularity" U&G compared to females; age differences among adolescents were absent; and adolescents sought higher U&G than did the young adults (Study III). Fourth, older males, extroverts, those who perceive online information as public, and adolescents with more experience of taking and sharing photos, who spend more time taking photos, who demonstrate strict protection of digital photos, those who are negative towards cloud storage, and those who rarely keep backups, are more likely to untag photos. (Study IV). Fifth, a valid and reliable instrument on avoiding photo-tagging use (25 items) addresses six reasons for avoiding photo-tagging, namely destroy capital, dislike, worry, parental control, embarrassment and personal appearance.
Translated title of the contributionHenkilökohtaisen profiilin ja näkyvyyden hallinta verkkoympäristössä: motiivit ja syyt valokuvamerkintöjen lisäämiseen ja poistamiseen
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Nieminen, Marko, Supervising Professor
  • Lonka, Kirsti, Thesis Advisor, External person
  • Chen, Sufen, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6781-0
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6782-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • adolescents
  • computer-mediated communication
  • cross-sectional research
  • photo-tagging
  • psychometrics
  • self-presentation and quantitative research


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