The term ‘privacy paradox’ refers to the apparent inconsistency between people’s concerns about their privacy and their actual privacy behaviour. Although several possible explanations for this phenomenon have been provided so far, these assume that (1) all people share the same privacy concerns and (2) a snapshot at a given point in time is enough to explain the phenomenon. To overcome these limitations, this article presents a system dynamics simulation model that considers the diversity of privacy concerns during the process of social media adoption and identifies the types of situations in which the privacy paradox emerges. The results show that (1) the least concerned minority can induce the more concerned majority to adopt social media and (2) even the most concerned minority can be hindered by the less concerned majority from discarding social media. Both (1) and (2) are types of situations that reflect the privacy paradox.