What Life Events are Disclosed on Social Media, How, When, and By Whom?

Koustuv Saha, Jordyn Seybolt, Stephen M Mattingly, Talayeh Aledavood, Chaitanya Konjeti, Gonzalo J Martinez, Ted Grover, Gloria Mark, Munmun De Choudhury

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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 significant, recent, and intimate events are less likely to be disclosed on social media. While all life events may not be disclosed, online disclosures can reflect complementary information to self-reports. Our work bears practical and platform design implications in providing support and sensitivity to life events.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Virtual, Online, Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 8 May 202113 May 2021


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
Internet address

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