Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Andrew Lindner

Second Advisor

Maria Lander

Keywords

Social interaction, social media

Abstract

How has the recent surge in social media network usage affected in-person social interaction? As the Internet continues to become more integrated in everyday forms of communication and interaction, sociologists disagree about the implications it will have on in-person socialization. Some argue that social media will revolutionize social interactions, while others believe that it will lead to a loss of privacy and an increase in isolation. I propose that the more social media networks an individual is a regular user of, the fewer days they will interact face-to-face with other people. Using 685 responses garnered from computer-assisted interviews in the 2016 General Social Survey, regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between social media network usage and in-person social interaction while controlling for age. Results from bivariate analysis show a positive but weak association between social media usage and in-person social interaction, revealing that the more networks an individual used, the more they interacted with others in-person. In multivariate results, this relationship disappeared. The results do not support the hypothesis, but instead indicate that age is a more important predictor of decreased in-person social interaction. In future studies, researchers should investigate the effects of social media usage on in-person social interaction with larger samples and more in-depth questions about the ways in which social media networks are being used and time spent online.

DOI

10.17605/OSF.IO/9MA2J

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Sociology Commons

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