New Communication Technologies
11 April 2018
Amber L. Ferris and Erin E. Hollenbaugh: Facebook
Doctor Amber Ferris and Erin Hollenbaugh collaborated on a study in 2018 entitled A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Exploring Antecedents to Facebook Dependency. Different from addiction, dependency can be described as a persons reliance on a medium to accomplish their tasks. Reasons that led to this research included how Facebook motives relate to dependency and how variables such as extraversion/introversion, agreeableness, self-esteem, and social cohesion are also related to dependency on the social site.
After conducting the research their hypothesis was mildly supported. Those people who were extroverted were not more likely to be dependent on Facebook which proved their first hypothesis incorrect. Those who were introverts only partially relied on Facebook for their goals of meeting people.
This scholarly research has numerous weaknesses that need to be addressed. First, the participants in this procedure were not randomly sampled, which can present inaccurate information seeing that the results could not be generalized to the public. In addition the researchers gathered their data by survey. This can present multiple problems such as improper wording, false answers, etc. However in terms of the necessity of this research, there is much to be examined in the area of how social media affects users both mentally and emotionally and uncovering the relationship between the two. In examination of the article, it is well-written and all areas are fully detailed and thoroughly explained. In particular the abstract was written concisely and coherent as to where readers can get a full understanding of the research at hand.
Jian Raymond Rui & Michael A. Stefanone: Reality TV
Doctor Jian Rui and Michael Stefanone both hypothesized that reality television inspires the youth (mainly undergraduates) to use social media sites to pursue fame. A variable that also was examined in the study was whether viewers watched reality television with friends or by themselves and what are the effects from it. In their research entitled The Desire for Fame: An Extension of Uses and Gratifications Theory there is also much information detailing the uses and gratifications theory which essentially dissects why people utilize certain things to achieve their goals. Also Rui and Stefanone extensively examine the prior history of reality television shows as they grew in popularity along with social network sites, most notably Facebook.
Researchers concluded that when reality television is watched with friends they are more likely to have a stronger desire for fame due to conversations that reinforce the ideas behind those shows. However, the magnitude of the desire was smaller than hypothesized. Use of social network sites and pursuit of fame were positively correlated.
As far as the nature of the article is very professional in its format. The researchers spent an extensive amount of time explaining what the uses and gratifications theory is as well as dissecting undergraduates obsession with social network sites. However, in the conduction of the research I believe that Rui and Stefanone both failed in properly examining the hypothesis. The researchers just simply concluded that there was a positive correlation in the number of statuses and pictures/statuses posted, however, they provide no concrete evidence that there was a cause and effect relationship. Who’s to say that these users aren’t just active users on Facebook regularly? This study also fails to account the countless videos that users post in order to get a viral video and achieve fame. In conclusion, the study and methodology should have been much more sound especially in an era where reality TV and social media prominence is at an all-time high and users capitalize from using social media accounts to achieve fame.
Valenzuela, Puente and Flores: Twitter vs. Television
As Twitter grew in popularity and in result shifted the way in which people acquire information eventually its impact expanded into the television industry. Researchers decided to examine which topics were discussed on television versus on Twitter and also analyze the influences that Twitter imposes on traditional media. In their article Comparing Disaster News on Twitter and Television Agenda Setting Perspective they use the 8.8-earthquake that happened in Chile on February 27, 2010 as a case study and examine trends on social media versus television broadcasting.
At the conclusion of the study researchers founf that a positive, reinforcing influence was found in television broadcasting and Twitter. With this being stated, it was still found that Twitter influences television more so than the other way around. Researchers believe this study provides insight towards how media will be presented for future decades.
A vital critique of this study is the fact that it is marginalized to only the Chile earthquake as a source of news. This means that the results of the study cannot be generalized to other events in terms of how Twitter impact them and television broadcasting. In addition, the coders for this study only included people on Twitter that had “journalist” in their biography as well as their location being in Chile. If this is so, these results should only be reflective of Chilean broadcasting instead of being generalized to television broadcasting across the globe. Although there are flaws in this study, the researchers may have sparked the curiosity of how social media (Twitter specifically) has a imprint on how media is broadcasted now and in the future.
Valenzuela, S., Puente, S., & Flores, P. M. (2017). Comparing Disaster News on Twitter and Television: an Intermedia Agenda Setting Perspective. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(4), 615-637.
Ferris, A. L., & Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2018). A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Exploring Antecedents to Facebook Dependency. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62(1), 51-70.
Rui, J. R., & Stefanone, M. A. (2016). The Desire for Fame: An Extension of Uses and Gratifications Theory. Communication Studies, 67(4), 399-418.