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Trauma dumping: why oversharing your problems on social media can be harmful

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Reports made by the We Are Social agency in 2023 reviewed that the internet this year got to 5.16 billion users, representing 64.4% of the world population. Inside this group, 4.76 billions have access to social media, which symbolizes 60% of all people in the world.

The support of these platforms could be used for both professional or personal purposes. Undoubtedly, we have to be careful with the information exposed online. But beyond avoiding sharing personal data, such as passwords, financial material or address, some people don’t seem to have the same preoccupation in sharing feelings, disappointments and particular traumas of themselves.

In this post, we’re going to try to show the benefits and drawbacks of using social media as a place for trauma dumping.


To bring a professional point of view, we interviewed the psychologist Cintia Forner to talk properly about the topic.

To start the explanation, we have to contextualize why some people, mainly teenagers, feel comfortable or see the necessity to expose such intimate information online. She says “Firstly, due to the facility of access to this technology, for young people it’s easy to deal with digital tools. Also because it’s a group that targets publics with the same ages, with identification where somebody might search for support situations, like a wave of validation.”

This extensive search for validation may be a consequence of the lack of attention in real life. It is really common to see stories of teens being closer to people who don’t live with them, while distant to their relatives. Many don’t feel supported or even listened to by the ones that the society institutionalized to be your “safe space”. This is the crucial point to seek for comfort in other places.

Cintia analyzes the action “as an opportunity, a space, a vent setting. Not everyone has this space at home, this social reception or even can afford therapy. Sometimes, the internet can be used as an expression channel. When we are expressing ourselves, we are putting out a feeling that can be developed. We can hear ourselves when we write, we are listening to ourselves. This could cause a little relief, some catharsis. They could decrease the level of anxiety because of expressing an emotion.”

It’s also pointed out that those around the person could identify a problem by going through what they say online. To some people, dealing and understanding their situation by writing is easier than speaking directly with someone about the issue. Even other forms of art, such as music and poems, are used as ways of asking for help.

However, having precaution about updating intimate problems online can not be put aside. “Certain personal contents can’t be broad to excessive exposure, we need to keep our privacy and individuality. The use of these tools could have drastic consequences: other ones can misrepresent that information, this exposure can lead to multiple external judgments, you could receive criticism that you are not ready to deal with yet. All of this leads to a significant emotional decline.”

Care about our social circle by not telling our crucial weakness for those we are not close yet is an essential factor to keep a healthy public image, and can be used for any kind of relationships too.

“It is necessary to have discernment of knowing the pros and cons, what can happen as consequences and have control of the exposure. Don’t put situations that could lean to misinterpretations bring drastic problems that you can’t deal with. Know that it can be used as a place to outflow but has limits.”

To conclude, we can’t forget that the mediation of these vents are made by apps and big companies, so the profits generated by our use can’t be disregarded. A lot of algorithms use these relations to show specific ads and products for extended consumption (going from specific meds to other products that encourage consumerism). Even with anti-bullying or anti-harassing politics, we know this is not effective considering the scale of users and the proportions some posts can achieve.


The article above was edited by Isadora Quaglia.

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Larissa Gabriel

Casper Libero '25

Apaixonada por cultura e entretenimento.