In a study of self-disclosure and intimacy on Facebook, research in a survey of 274 undergraduates found interaction processes generally conformed to those found in face-to-face interactions. However, four findings from this study, in particular, elaborate how self-disclosure operates in a Facebook social media context. First, as in the face-to-face context, self-disclosure and partner disclosure were directly related to greater feelings of intimacy. But in contrast to face-to-face communication, in a test of the interpersonal process model of intimacy (Reis & Shaver, 1988), perceived partner responsiveness fully mediated the effect of self-disclosure on intimacy for a self-disclosure Facebook status update. Second, those who self-disclose on Facebook tend to expect and receive positive responses from Facebook friends, and self-disclosers generally classify this positive feedback as an expression of emotionally supportive caring, respect, and/or liking. Third, when participants receive unexpected responses to status updates, these surprise responses (expectancy violations) are generally viewed as positive. Expectancy violations to a self-disclosure status update on Facebook were significantly positively correlated with perceived partner responsiveness and greater change in intimacy toward those who responded unexpectedly. Fourth, in contrast to face-to-face communication, no gender differences were found in self-disclosure behavior, closeness with Facebook partners, or change in intimacy on Facebook as a result of a self-disclosure status update. Additionally, associations between attachment, frequent Facebook participation, relationship type, self-monitoring, and intimacy in Facebook interactions involving participant self-disclosures and responses from Facebook friends resulted in weak or inconsistent findings. The survey also explored participants' motivations for posting a status update, finding that sharing news, posting humorous information, and seeking emotional support were common reasons to post a status update. Motivations for responding to someone else's status update included sharing close feelings and humor.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2011. Major: Communication Studies. Advisor: Ascan Koerner, PH.D., 1 computer file (PDF) ix, 283 pages, appendices A-C.
Freeman, Linda Kramer.
Wall of me: facebook self-disclosure and partner responsiveness resulting in confirmation or violation of expectations and consequences for intimacy and relationships..
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