Posting Our Hearts Out: Understanding Online Self-Disclosure for Better Designs

We’ve all heard stories about the stuff teenagers and college kids are sharing online. But what about older folks like us? I’m certainly not the only one whose social media streams are made of smart and tech-savvy folks; and see intimate details of their lives that I would not know about otherwise. Health problems, familial relationships, joys and perils of parenthood, political opinions, emotions during the day… Information that is somewhat intimate – more for some than for others – is being published online everyday, by people who know their tools. Why is this happening? Have norms of what is private and what is public changed so quickly?

This presentation will give an overview of the problem I’ve defined for my dissertation, and how I’ve drawn inspiration from our very own IA Summit community. I will be presenting some results from my first study: A large-scale international survey that compares self-disclosure across different computer-mediated communication tools for different communication scenarios.

Finally, I will be presenting some early drafts for a theoretical model that this work is leading to, as well as discussions for what this means in terms of UX design: How our designs can better accommodate these sharing needs.