Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Social interaction, social media
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.
Donlevie, Kristen, "Screen Time Versus Face Time: How Social Media Usage Affects Time Spent Face to Face" (2018). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 5.