Exploring the “socialness” of social media

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This paper presents a critical review of the current cyberpsychology understanding of what we know about how “social” social media is. Social media platforms are vastly complex and diverse, therefore it is important we understand the range of behaviours which correspond to “social” use to be in a better position to theorise about their potential psychological or social effects. This paper outlines a number of recommendations on how this field can develop these insights further. These include; distinguishing between social media volume and use, dis- tinguishing between typology vs activity-centric approaches; and recommending how behavioural network data can visualise the level of social size and configuration which may also help us understand the level of “socialness” of social media. Of note, I present a conceptual framework which distinguishes social media use into four main categories (interactive, reactive broadcasting, and passive). These are argued to be situated under latent cate- gories of active and passive use, and vary based on level of interactivity (two-way interactive vs one-way non- interactive). This review can help researchers in this area seek opportunities to empirical test these assertions and move away from theorising social media use as a unidimensional concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100083
JournalComputers in Human Behavior Reports
Early online date14 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Apr 2021


  • Social media
  • Use Behaviours
  • Interactive
  • Passive
  • Active
  • Broadcasting


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