TMI? Some FB Users Don't Think So
Albright College Research Reveals Some People are More Comfortable Expressing their True Self on Facebook than in Real Life
June 11, 2014
Reading, Pa. – Ever wonder why some Facebook friends post little
about themselves, while others seem to share their innermost desires and
It may be due to the
expression of the “true self,” which contains qualities you possess but don’t normally
feel comfortable sharing with other people. And some of us feel more
comfortable expressing our true self to hundreds of Facebook acquaintances than
to a few face-to-face, in-the-flesh friends, according to research by Albright
College assistant professor of psychology Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D.
The findings are included in
Seidman’s article “Expressing the ‘True Self’ on Facebook,” recently published
in the journal Computers in Human
Seidman found that people
who are more comfortable expressing their true self online will post on
Facebook more often and will post more personally revealing information and
emotional content. These people, said Seidman, are more likely to be seeking
attention, acceptance and validation from others.
Unfortunately, they’re not
“They are posting more information
and more emotionally revealing information, but are not getting any more
feedback than those who are less expressive,” said Seidman.
For the study, participants
were asked to take a true self measure and complete a survey about their
Facebook use. Scores on the true self measure were positively associated with
greater use of Facebook and using the social media platform for self-motivated
purposes, namely to gain attention and acceptance from others, but not for the altruistic
motives of connecting with or showing care for others.
“People are doing it, in
part, because they feel like they can express things about themselves that they
can’t do in another context,” said Seidman, who noted that while Facebook is
not anonymous, people tend to feel more removed from their audience and thus
more comfortable disclosing personal information.
“People feel the urge to
post and they may not always think through the impact,” she said. “But when you’re
face-to-face, it is more anxiety provoking.”
in 1856, Albright College is a selective, national liberal arts college
enrolling 1,700 full-time undergraduates and more than 800 adult learners and
graduate students. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum,
strengthened by a close-knit residential learning environment, encourages
students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic
programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and
a diverse, supportive community of scholars and learners help students exceed
their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service
and learning. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Albright College. A
Different Way of Thinking.