Reality Television as a Model for Online Behavior: Blogging, Photo, and Video Sharing



This research explores traditional mass media as an antecedent to nondirected self-disclosure online. New Internet-based tools allow users to communicate with global audiences, and to make intimate personal information available to this audience. At the same time, a culture that rewards the public performance of private thoughts and emotions is increasingly evident in “reality” television (RTV) programming. This study used survey data to examine RTV consumption, authoritarianism, and users' offline social context as potential antecedents for nondirected self-disclosure via blogs, online photo sharing, and online video sharing. RTV consumption correlated with blogging and video sharing, but not photo sharing. Social support network size was a significant correlate of photo sharing, indicating that photo sharing may be a more relational activity.