We can lose our inhibitions online because others seem so distant.
Published on October 15, 2014 by Jennifer Golbeck, Ph.D. in Your Online Secrets
Anyone who has spent time on social media, especially Facebook and other social networking sites, it likely to have cringed at someone revealing far too much about themselves. Overly sexual pictures, comments that would get them fired, inappropriate political rants, and deeply personal details not suitable for strangers are all common online when that same person would never say or do those things in a face-to-face interaction. These sites have privacy controls that allow people to limit the audience they share with, so why do people overshare?
It’s not because they don’t know how to keep their thoughts private; they choose not to. This results from something called the online disinhibition effect . The concept is simple: people lose inhibitions online that they would have in person. There are six major perceptions that play into this, and some or all of these may be at play at any time on social media: