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  • Writer's pictureAbogere

Public vs Private

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Do people post more risky material on Public vs Private Instagram profiles? In this research I am going to investigate why it may or may not influence a Instagram user.

Reasons for researching?

Do Instagram users tailor their content on their Instagram accounts based on being public or private profile? Do they filter who can see the their profile because of the content they post? Do other users post influence what a person posts?

My research method

1. Recruited male and female OSU students.

2. Recruited Co-workers.

3. Conducted a 1 on 1 interview.

Sample size:

6 female students; average age of 22 years old4 male students; average age of 21 years old.


1. Pen and paper

2. Audio recording via smartphone

3. Google office suite

The Interview questions used:

Interview questions I came up with to answer my question.

The questions asked in the interview were designed to be in a semi-structured format.

What I learned (Results)

Out of the 10 Instagram users interviewed 4 had private profiles and 4 had public profiles. Interestingly enough 2 users had both, meaning they used separate Instagram profiles to post certain content.

More Findings

  • Instagram users have public and private accounts for many reasons. Whether it is to filter strangers from seeing their feed or they believe they have nothing to hide.

  • Users may have self-presentational concerns that stem from family members following them or how they are viewed by potential employers.

  • Users may have second thoughts about posting an offensive post.

  • If users view a post that they don’t think should have been uploaded, it helps them reinforce their own posting behavior.

Some Implications this study has shown me:

  • People have to worry about the wrong audience seeing their posts: Employers,Universities and Family.

  • Users have created Finstagrams, which are fake instagrams.

  • The internet can become a toxic environment because users have become more anonymous.


  • Users censor their posts or have private accounts because who can be able to see them.

  • Some users accounts are monitored (i.e athletes).

  • Posts on the internet are permanent so its safe not to post things that could be inappropriate.

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