Marta Dąbrowska – Communicating emotions online. The function of anonymity and gender

Abstract: The electronic media directly or indirectly encourage their users to take an active role online. This, among others, finds its reflection on the users’ expression of opinions in public about various issues. The degree of freedom of expression and sharing the users’ opinions and emotions with others will depend on a number of factors, the major one, as it is assumed here, being the users’ degree of anonymity. An important role, as some previous studies have shown, is also to be assigned to the gender of the post authors. The following study will therefore attempt to investigate the issue of the frequency and the character of emotions expressed in the posts written in English, excerpted from three types of media:  anonymous, represented by the International Movie Data Base; semi-anonymous, where both real names and invented ones may appear (film fan pages available on Facebook); to opinions expressed by Facebook friends in a more private online interaction. The objective will be to establish both the character and the rate of expressed emotions (positive or negative ones) and the degree of the users’ openness about their feelings, depending on the medium of expression and their gender, where disclosed.

Keywords: emotional language, power, distance and solidarity, genderlects, CMC.

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 14, October 2012,, ISSN 1314-4464

Read the original of the article (in English)