Emotion expression on social networking sites: A study of young persons’ use of Facebook and Twitter in the UK.




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Volume Title


Global science and technology forum



Peer reviewed



The healthy dosage of emotion expression through the proper channel is important for well-being. With the growing use of social networking sites (SNS), many may choose to express emotions online. The present study explores the pattern of emotion expression on SNS among young persons in the United Kingdom. One hundred participants aged between 18-28 were invited to a survey study, investigating the influence of personality, offline emotion expression, and interpersonal relationship on one’s emotion expression on Facebook and Tweeter. Results revealed that most participants chose to interact with friends or family members in real world to disclose their emotions but not to use SNS, especially when negative emotions were concerned. Participants also reported little benefit to express negative emotions on SNS in comparison to speaking to friends or family members. Moreover, people also posted significantly more positive than negative information on SNS. Among all psychological variables tested, only personality trait extroversion significantly predicted the proportion of positive posts people published on SNS: the higher the extroversion score, the more likely one posted positive information on SNS. In conclusion, young persons in the UK do not overly rely on SNS to disclose their emotions; and the pattern of emotion expression offline and the availability of support in real world do not influence one’s usage of SNS on emotion disclosure.


Open access


Emotion expression, Positive and negative emotions, Social networking sites, Personality


Yu, H. and John-Baptiste, S. (2016) Emotion expression on social networking sites: A study of young persons’ use of Facebook and Twitter in the UK. In D. Chhabra (Ed), Proceedings of the 5th Annual International Conference on Cognitive and Behavioural Psychology, 22nd - 23rd February, Singapore, pp. 81 – 86


Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science