Self-Disclosure in Social Media: Extending the Functional Approach to Disclosure Motivations and Characteristics on Social Network Sites

Natalya N. Bazarova, Yoon Hyung Choi
2014 Journal of Communication  
This article introduces the functional model of self-disclosure on social network sites by integrating a functional theory of self-disclosure and research on audience representations as situational cues for activating interpersonal goals. According to this model, people pursue strategic goals and disclose differently depending on social media affordances, and self-disclosure goals mediate between media affordances and disclosure intimacy. The results of the empirical study examining
more » ... ure motivations and characteristics in Facebook status updates, wall posts, and private messaging lend support to this model and provide insights into the motivational drivers of self-disclosure on SNSs, helping to reconcile traditional views on self-disclosure and self-disclosing behaviors in new media contexts. Social media technologies have opened new possibilities for sharing personal information with online networks, and millions of people routinely self-disclose personal information on social network sites (SNSs). From expressing deep personal feelings and opinions to documenting mundane details of daily life, this type of public 2 self-disclosure shared with multiple, diverse, and often ill-defined audiences blurs boundaries between publicness and privacy. It also raises questions about self-disclosure and information control in social media, and what leads people to self-disclose in public communication on SNSs. This article presents a functional model of self-disclosure in SNSs based on the functional approach to self-disclosure (Derlega & Grzelak, 1979; Omarzu, 2000) . According to this model, SNS affordances amplify and make more visible a set of strategic concerns and motivations that shape self-disclosure characteristics. By analyzing the content of self-disclosing posts and messages on one hand, and the goal Corresponding
doi:10.1111/jcom.12106 fatcat:od3uao6g3vf4ppzlzh5hfac4be