How Demanding is Social Media? Understanding Social Media Diets as a Function of Perceived Costs and Benefits- a Rational Actor Perspective

Nicholas Bowman, David Westerman, C. J. Claus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using the rational actor perspective 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 Twitter and Facebook usage for informational and relational purposes, respectfully. 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 increased social media usage. Interpreted, we see that a transparent technology such as Facebook 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 use
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2298-2305
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - 2012

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