College Drinkers’ Privacy Management of Alcohol Content on Social-Networking Sites

Lynsey K. Romo, Charee M. Thompson, Erin E. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol-related posts on social-networking sites (SNS) can damage college students’ reputations and relationships and contribute to risky behavior. However, little is known about how college drinkers engage in privacy management involving alcohol content. Through 48 interviews and a Communication Privacy Management lens, this study uncovered criteria on which students relied to develop relatively impermeable boundaries around alcohol posts, the ways they collectively negotiated privacy with peers, and how participants implicitly and explicitly communicatively negotiated privacy turbulence. Findings suggest important connections between the co-occurrence of online privacy management and identity management, including how facework is involved in remediating privacy breaches and the co-opting of privacy. Findings also inform efforts to educate college drinkers about on-and-offline strategies to manage alcohol-related SNS content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-189
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • College Drinking
  • Communication Privacy Management
  • Disclosure
  • Social Networking Sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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