How Are Important Life Events Disclosed On Facebook? Relationships With Likelihood Of Sharing And Privacy

Document Type


Publication Date



This study examined an aspect of Facebook disclosure that has as yet gone unexplored: whether a user prefers to share information directly, for example, through status updates, or indirectly, via photos with no caption or relationship status changes without context or explanation. The focus was on the sharing of important positive and negative life events related to romantic relationships, health, and work/school in relation to likelihood of sharing this type of information on Facebook and general attitudes toward privacy. An online survey of 599 adult Facebook users found that when positive life events were shared, users preferred to do so indirectly, whereas negative life events were more likely to be disclosed directly. Privacy shared little association with how information was shared. Implications for understanding the finer nuances of how news is shared on Facebook are discussed.


This article was originally published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking 18.1 (2015). DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2014.0373.


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.