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Social media: The perils and pleasures

Date:
April 9, 2013
Source:
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Summary:
Too much social media activity may damage strong relationships.
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Too much social media activity may damage strong relationships.

This is the finding of research by Dr Bernie Hogan of Oxford University. The findings are presented today, Wednesday 10 April 2013, as part of a symposium about the impact of online social media, at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society in Harrogate.

Researchers tested the theory of 'media multiplexity' (the ability to communicate via several communications channels) which was first posed in 2005. The theory suggests that there is a clear link between the number of media channels used to communicate, the frequency they are used and the strength of relationship ties.

Dr Hogan said: "This theory was first put forward in an era of email, chat and telephone conversations. However, we are now firmly in the age of digital communication with social media really taking off. We wanted to see if these more diverse communications channels strengthened relationship ties in the digital era.

'Over 24,000 people in marital relationships took part in the new research, using 10 media channels. We found that those using more media tend to report no greater relationship satisfaction and some even reported decreasing satisfaction. This work suggests that media, which now includes online social media, still operates as a signal of ties of strength in relationships. However there may be a cut-off point after which the increasing complexity of maintaining so many separate communications threads starts to undermine relationship ties."


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by British Psychological Society (BPS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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British Psychological Society (BPS). "Social media: The perils and pleasures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409211859.htm>.
British Psychological Society (BPS). (2013, April 9). Social media: The perils and pleasures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409211859.htm
British Psychological Society (BPS). "Social media: The perils and pleasures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409211859.htm (accessed August 30, 2015).

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