What life events are disclosed on social media, how, when, and by whom?

Koustuv Saha, Jordyn Seybolt, Stephen M. Mattingly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Social media platforms continue to evolve as archival platforms, where important milestones in an individual's life are socially disclosed for support, solidarity, maintaining and gaining social capital, or to meet therapeutic needs. However, a limited understanding of how and what life events are disclosed (or not) prevents designing platforms to be sensitive to life events.We ask what life events individuals disclose on a 256 participants' year-long Facebook dataset of 14K posts against their self-reported life events. We contribute a codebook to identify life event disclosures and build regression models on factors explaining life events' disclosures. Positive and anticipated events are more likely, whereas signifcant, recent, and intimate events are less likely to be disclosed on social media. While all life events may not be disclosed, online disclosures can refect complementary information to self-reports. Our work bears practical and platform design implications in providing support and sensitivity to life events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
StatePublished - May 6 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: May 8 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Audience
  • Individual diferences
  • Language
  • Life events
  • Self-disclosure
  • Self-reports
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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