Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - Apr 19th, 4:00 PM


Self-Disclosure of Illicit Activities on MySpace, Facebook and YouTube: What Gets Posted and Why


The purpose of this study is to gain more information about young adults’ self-disclosure online. In particular, this study seeks to examine why young adults chose to post pictures or videos of themselves drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, which are two activities that could be viewed as socially unacceptable by others, including parents and/ or potential employers. This study will include an analysis of an online questionnaire administered to students enrolled in an introductory psychology class at Boise State University. The questionnaire will be administered via a secure online website and include open-ended and closed-response questions about participants’ internet and general drug use, social networking profiles, and history of posting pictures or videos of themselves drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. The results of this research will reveal what kinds of pictures and videos young adults’ post in which they are drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, including the typical settings and number of individuals present, and activities being depicted. The research will also provide information regarding why young adults chose to post these pictures and videos and the responses they have received from others regarding these pictures. This research is important because of the extensive number of young adults who both use online social networking websites and who also post images of themselves that could potentially be detrimental to their professional or personal images at later dates. Understanding why young adults participate in these behaviors will help parents and educators better address these activities when attempting to alert young adults to the potential perils of engaging in this kind of online self-disclosure.