Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Joshua Woods

Committee Co-Chair

Katie Corcoran

Committee Member

Jason Manning


A cognitive application of the theory of ritualized media is applied to computer mediated communication to explain unintended consequences of routinization in social media spaces connected to patterns of use and network growth, creating an increased opportunity for self-violations of privacy. While The unintentional self-violation of a digital user's privacy of information, thoughts, and behavior in part stems from interconnected structural components of a user's networks as well as the situational constraints they experience while utilizing social media. This study found that as networks increased in complexity, both in volume and diversity, SNS users experienced a higher likelihood of posting information that they later came to regret due to over-disclosure. Additionally, specific situations, specifically emotional hot states and the use of intoxicants, also led to higher likelihood of a self-violation of privacy. By identifying specific risk factors that may influence the likelihood of committing self-violations of privacy in digital spaces this study hopes to spur increased digital safety for social media users.