Abstract

Despite good intentions of users who share updates on SNSs, there is mounting evidence that recipients of SNS content frequently perceive shared information as inappropriate, annoying, envy-inducing, and excessive. To examine this apparent gap, we draw on the communication theory and the perceptual congruence model to analyze perceptual differences with the help of dyadic data analysis. Our findings based on 90 sender-recipient pairs show significant percep-tual differences between senders and corresponding recipients of content, with senders attach-ing greater value to their content and scoring both hedonic and utilitarian attributes higher. Additionally, we demonstrate the presence of “false consensus effect” in the SNS environment, meaning that senders anticipate perceptions of recipients to be more similar to their own, than they actually are. Our results provide evidence that sender’s accuracy in predicting recipient’s perceptions contributes to favorable outcomes for both parties, including recipient’s satisfaction with the SNS relationship and positive feedback, desirable for senders. This highlights the im-portance of perspective-taking ability among senders of content. Implications for stakeholders in research and practice are discussed.

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