The whole concept of why people disclose private information about themselves sooner online then face to face is an extremely interesting and surprising easy concept to grasp. Take, for example, information such as a potential rough past, past relations, sexuality, etc. Would you be more likely to tell a random person in a chat room about this, or a stranger you’re standing next to at the bus stop? Although some people may say neither, it’s been proven that a lot of times people actually pick the first one and admit to venting to random strangers just because the other people have no way of knowing who they really are. I mean, yes, most of the time this is true. However, depending on what network you’re using, there is always the slight chance that your identity will be revealed, but if you put yourself in the shoes of a person who really feels the need to vent and doesn’t want to disclose face to face to anyone, social media is definitely the best choice.
Disclosing information online has become the thing to do nowadays. Take all of the ‘anonymous’ social media sites and accounts that have sprung up in the past few years that let you post whatever it is your heart desires. YikYak, Tumblr, every discussion board from parenting to cheating on your spouse; it’s a never ending list and it’s all a free space for people to be as rude, sexual, funny, dramatic as they want- all anonymously. Believe it or not, there’s actually a science behind this. It all can be explained in the Social Penetration Theory, where people are more likely to disclose super private “secrets” at an alarming fast rate online compared to face to face. As explained in the article Why You Might Share More Intimately Online, people feel frightened to disclose right away to a person they just met, simply because there’s always the chance of rejection. Which makes complete sense. I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling a random stranger about my life story, would you? Chances are you answered that with a no, and if you said yes, congrats, you’re included in a minuscule part of the world’s population.