Online Disclosure greater than Offline Disclosure?

Most are afraid of greater online disclosure than offline disclosure. The computer luring us towards more information about ourselves than would probably be safe. Self-disclosure is the voluntary and verbal communication of personal information to a targeted recipient. It has three dimensions: frequency, breadth, and depth. Frequency of self-disclosure refers to the amount of information revealed, disclosure breadth is the range or diversity of self-disclosure topics, and depth is the intimacy of personal information divulged.

Results of scientific research differ from more self disclosure online to more disclosure in face to face contacts. A recent systematic review focused on self-disclosure between two people rather than disclosure to surveys or computers. These latter two are not aimed at relationship development.

The authors found 15 studies. From these studies they concluded that although not consistently but overall online self disclosure was more frequent than offline disclosure. Moreover, not a single theory of online communication could fully account for disclosure in both online and offline interactions.

Regarding disclosure frequency, this research found more information exchange in online interactions between strangers……Results concerning breadth of self-disclosure are inconclusive.

ResearchBlogging.org
Nguyen, M., Bin, Y., & Campbell, A. (2011). Comparing Online and Offline Self-Disclosure: A Systematic Review Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0277