Bowman, N. D., Westerman, D. K, & Claus, C. J. (2012, April). How                        Demanding is Social Media: Unders...
Overview• Rational Actor Perspective  (Markus, 1994) argues for  a goal-oriented, purposive  usage of communication  techn...
Overview           • Goals are a function of             costs and benefits               – Costs in SM might include     ...
Theoretical Model                            Task Load                              Index                 H2 (-)          ...
Method• Survey administered at “large, Mid-Atlantic  University” completed in 15 minutes• Course credit for participation•...
Method• Spitzburg (2006) CMC self-efficacy, adapted• COST      – Hart & Staveland (1988) NASA-TLX, adapted• BENEFIT      –...
(Pre) Results• NASA-TLX and social media self-efficacy (r =  -.321, p < .001) and social media diet (r =  -.225, p < .001)...
Results: Facebook                            Task Load                              Index                                 ...
Results: Twitter                               Task Load                                 Index                            ...
Discussion• Social media users seem to be rational actors  whose usage of Twitter and Facebook is a  function of a ‘lay’ c...
Limitations• Surveys establish correlation, not causality• Post-hoc model fit (Facebook) in need of  replication• Narrow s...
Future Research• Age effects, even with restriction of range04/23/12              ?           18 y.o.                     ...
Future Research• Sex differences, such that  males perceived both  programs as:      – More cognitively demanding      – H...
Conclusion    “For Facebook usage, perceptions of task load indirectly    influenced usage via a direct effect on benefits...
Thank you!• In progress research, so for information:Nicholas David Bowman, Ph.D.Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu@bowmansparta...
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How Demanding is Social Media: Understanding Social Media Diets as a Function of Perceived Costs and Benefits – a Rational Actor Perspective

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Using the rational actor perspective (Markus, 1994a) as a guiding frame, this exploratory study examined individuals’ social media diet (i.e., amount, frequency, and duration of use) as a function of task load and expected goal attainment. Surveys were distributed (N = 337) focusing on Facebook and Twitter for informational and relational purposes. Increased task load – conceptualized as a cognitive cost – directly negatively influenced Twitter use but only indirectly influenced Facebook use as a function of perceived benefits. Across conditions, perceived self-efficacy was negatively associated with perceived task load and positively associated with goal attainment, and goal attainment was a significant correlate of increase social media usage. Interpreted, we see that a transparent technology such as Facebook (cf. Clark, 2003) has no cognitive costs associated with its use, while an opaque technology such as Twitter seems to have a salient cognitive cost element. Further, we found that older users of Facebook were more likely to judge the channel as more cognitively demanding and themselves as having lower self-efficacy in using it. Finally, results indicated that for both Facebook and Twitter, males perceived both channels as more cognitively demanding than females. Theoretical and practical explanations and applications for these findings are presented.

Read more at: http://onmediatheory.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-demanding-is-social-media.html

Citation: Bowman, N. D., Westerman, D. K, & Claus, C. J. (2012, April). How Demanding is Social Media: Understanding Social Media Diets as a Function of Perceived Costs and Benefits – a Rational Actor Perspective. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Boston-Cambridge.

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  • How Demanding is Social Media: Understanding Social Media Diets as a Function of Perceived Costs and Benefits – a Rational Actor Perspective

    1. 1. Bowman, N. D., Westerman, D. K, & Claus, C. J. (2012, April). How Demanding is Social Media: Understanding Social Media Diets as a Function of Perceived Costs and Benefits – a Rational Actor Perspective. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Boston-Cambridge. Why is Twitter so Demanding? (for some) Nicholas David Bowman, WVU David Keith Westerman, WVUChristopher James Claus, Towson U
    2. 2. Overview• Rational Actor Perspective (Markus, 1994) argues for a goal-oriented, purposive usage of communication technology• Differs from U&G (Katz et al. 1974) in that it places focus on cost and benefit04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 2
    3. 3. Overview • Goals are a function of costs and benefits – Costs in SM might include task demand – Benefits in SM might be informational or relational • Self-efficacy should drive perceptions of cost and benefit04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 3
    4. 4. Theoretical Model Task Load Index H2 (-) H4 (-) Social Media Social Media Self-Efficacy “Diet” H1 (+) H3 (+) Goal Attainment04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 4
    5. 5. Method• Survey administered at “large, Mid-Atlantic University” completed in 15 minutes• Course credit for participation• N = 337 – 213 males, Mage = 20.3 (SD = 1.57) – 176 in Facebook survey, 161 in Twitter survey – 188 for informational goals, 149 for relational goals04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 5
    6. 6. Method• Spitzburg (2006) CMC self-efficacy, adapted• COST – Hart & Staveland (1988) NASA-TLX, adapted• BENEFIT – Eastin & LaRose (2000) goal attainment, adapted• KMSK (2003) substance usage, adapted – Amount + Frequency + Duration• Controls included age, sex, usage (light v. heavy), modality (mobile v. stationary)04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 6
    7. 7. (Pre) Results• NASA-TLX and social media self-efficacy (r = -.321, p < .001) and social media diet (r = -.225, p < .001).• Social media diet greater for mobile users• Males, Older report + TLX, - self-efficacy – Age unique given restriction (95% b/w 18-22)• Neither goal seems harder to attain; collapsed across goal attainment conditions04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 7
    8. 8. Results: Facebook Task Load Index -.09 -.39*** R2 = .19Social Media Social MediaSelf-Efficacy -.22** “Diet” .15* .44*** Goal χ (2) = 1.78, p = .410 2 Attainment CMIN/df = .891, CFI ~ .999, RMSEA ~ .00004/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 8
    9. 9. Results: Twitter Task Load Index -.18** -.39*** R2 = .28Social Media Social MediaSelf-Efficacy “Diet” .15* .44*** Goal χ (2) = 3.13, p = .209 2 Attainment CMIN/df = 1.57, CFI = .982, RMSEA = .05904/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 9
    10. 10. Discussion• Social media users seem to be rational actors whose usage of Twitter and Facebook is a function of a ‘lay’ cost/benefit analysis• Facebook has no perceived cost qua task demand, a transparent technology (Clark, 2003)? “is so well fitted to, and integrated with, our own lives, biological capacities, and projects as to become almost invisible in use” (pp. 37).04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 10
    11. 11. Limitations• Surveys establish correlation, not causality• Post-hoc model fit (Facebook) in need of replication• Narrow set of costs and benefits; – Privacy rules (CPM, Petronio, 2002)• College-aged sample; heavy user base04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 11
    12. 12. Future Research• Age effects, even with restriction of range04/23/12 ? 18 y.o. 22 y.o. (c) ND Bowman, 2011 12
    13. 13. Future Research• Sex differences, such that males perceived both programs as: – More cognitively demanding – Having less self-efficacy• Technology usually masculine (Henwood, 19980;• relational maintenance more prominent in women (sev.)04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 13
    14. 14. Conclusion “For Facebook usage, perceptions of task load indirectly influenced usage via a direct effect on benefits; for Twitter, the influence was direct and negative. Applying Clark’s (2003) of opaque and transparent technology provides a novel explanation for this result. Based on anecdotal and empirical evidence, it is plausible that Facebook – the elder statesman of social media – is so engrained in one’s social media diet that its usage is “invisible to us” (pp. 37). Conversely, Twitter usage as a lesser-used technology is a more opaque technology with a still-salient cognitive demand associated with it.”04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 14
    15. 15. Thank you!• In progress research, so for information:Nicholas David Bowman, Ph.D.Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu@bowmanspartanDavid Keith Westerman, Ph.D.David.Westerman@mail.wvu.edu@DKWesterman04/23/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2011 15

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