“I read my Twitter the next morning and was astonished” A Conversational Perspective on Twitter Regrets

We present the results of an online survey of 1,221 Twitter users, comparing messages individuals regretted either saying during in-person conversations or posting on Twitter. Participants generally reported similar types of regrets in person and on Twitter. In particular, they often regretted messages that were critical of others. However, regretted messages that were cathartic/expressive or revealed too much information were reported at a higher rate for Twitter. Regretted messages on Twitter also reached broader audiences. In addition, we found that participants who posted on Twitter became aware of, and tried to repair, regret more slowly than those reporting in-person regrets. From this comparison of Twitter and in-person regrets, we provide preliminary ideas for tools to help Twitter users avoid and cope with regret.