How Does Social Media Negatively Influence Online Behaviour
1. Insta-Binge: To What Extent is Social
Media Negatively Influencing our
Investigating Through the Fields of Sociology and
By Allison Noble
2. The Rise of Social Media.
• Since the early 2000’s, people hailing from a variety of cultures have used social
networking sites (SNSs) to share and receive information in order to connect with
profiles that align with their own personal interests.
3. The Issues…• Social media is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace that is hard for authorities and
officials to keep up with.
• The side effects of social media binging are appearing in all areas of life - prompting
sociological scholars such as Jurgenson (2012, 83) to reject the notion of ‘digital dualism’
for the theory of ‘augmented reality’.
Negative Mass Online Movements.
4. Methods of Approach…
There were other disciplines in consideration for this work but sociology and social
psychology best fit the aims of this work:
•Shared integral focuses on society and its behaviours.
SOCIAL PYSCHOLOGY + SOCIOLOGY
Using the study of sociology and social psychology within the
context of Web Science
Data Collection: Gathering data and facts from pre-existing studies within
these fields of research.
5. Social Psychology…
• A sub-field within Psychology.
• “The scientific study of how “thoughts, feelings and behaviour of individuals
are influenced by the actual implied or imagined presence of others” - Hogg
and Vaughan, (2018, 2)”
Reasons for choice:
• Social psychologists focus on how people
perceive and interact with others.
• Theories coincide with the use of social media
platforms which have effects upon the user and
• “Sociology can be simply defined as the study of human
life, social groups, whole societies and the human world
as such.” - Gidden, Sutton (2017, 1)
Reasons for choice:
• The social interaction with the Web.
• Theories coincide with the use of social media
platforms which have effects upon entire
• Factors such as class, race and gender are
having an effect within the use of online
7. Merging Disciplines…“Past approaches to the study of social problems and social behaviour have been limited by a lack of
adequate conceptual tools. This limitation has been manifest both in psychology and sociology,
although in different ways”. - Dhiren N. Panchal (1978)
Social Psychology Sociology
Social Identity Theory
Self Discrepancy Theory
8. Including Web Science…
Some areas of interdisciplinary
• “It is necessarily interdisciplinary, as much about social and organisational behaviour, as
about the underpinning technology of the Web” - Web Science Institute (Southampton.ac.uk, 2018)
• An interdisciplinary research tool, focusing on the study of the technical and social impact of
9. Findings (So Far)…
• The concept of Symbolic Interactionism is common ground.
• Symbolic Interactionism is the theory of how the self is created
from human interaction and involves the (usually) consensual
trading of symbols by language or gesture.
Future Direction of Work
• Start a deeper examination of the relationships between the
individual theories in order to find further common ground.
• Develop a clearer framework which shows how these respective
disciplines could solve this research issue.
• Cliffsnotes.com. (2016). The Role and Influence of Mass Media. [online] Available at: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/sociology/contemporary-mass-
media/the-role-and-influence-of-mass-media [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
• Giddens, A. and Sutton, P. (2017). Sociology. 8th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press, p.1.
• Hendler, J., Shadbolt, N., Hall, W., Berners-Lee, T. and Weitzner, D. (2008). Web science. Communications of the ACM, [online] 51(7), pp.60-69. Available at:
http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1364782.1364798 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
• Hogg, M. and Vaughan, G. (2018). Social Psychology. 8th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd., p.2.
• McLeod, S. (2007). Social Psychology. [online] Simplypsychology.org. Available at: https://www.simplypsychology.org/social-psychology.html [Accessed 21 Nov.
• McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L. and Cook, J. (2001). Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks. Annual Review of Sociology, [online] 27(1), pp.415-444.
Available at: http://aris.ss.uci.edu/~lin/52.pdf [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
• Panchal, D. (1978). THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZATIONS: Book Review. [ebook] HR Folks International, p.3. Available at:
:http://sites.idc.ac.il/dice/files/activity2.pdf [Accessed 14 Nov. 2018].
• Repko, A. (2008). Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, pp.271-294.
• Southampton.ac.uk. (2018). Web Science Institute - University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/wsi/index.page?
[Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
• Statista (2018). INSTAGRAM’S RISE TO ONE BILLION. Available at: https://www.statista.com/chart/9157/instagram-monthly-active-users/ [Accessed 21 Nov.
• Statista (2018). Facebook (Still) Dominates Social Media. Available at: https://www.statista.com/chart/2183/facebooks-mobile-users/ [Accessed 21 Nov. 2018]
• Statista (2018). Teens' Social Media Usage Is Drastically Increasing. Available at: https://www.statista.com/chart/15720/frequency-of-teenagers-social-media-use/
[Accessed 21 Nov. 2018]
Hello, my name is Allison Noble and today I shall be using this presentation to discuss my interdisciplinary research aims and progress.
My work aims to research how social media is negatively influencing our online behaviours.
Since the early 2000’s, people hailing from a variety of cultures have used social networking sites to share and receive information in order to connect with profiles that align with their own personal interests - also known as digital homophily. (McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Cook, 2001: 416).
This 24-hour phenomenon of connection spreads across a wide network of platforms in an asymmetric fashion, connecting “netizens” worldwide (Van Dijck, 2013, 3).
These two infographics, taken from online statistics hub Statista, shows the large user numbers within social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp.
Although steps have been taken in order to regulate social media, it is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace that is hard to keep up with.
The advances in social media have eroded at the idea of digital dualism, which is the concept of purely online and offline spaces. Instead, we are faced with what Jurgenson (2012, 83) calls augmented reality - which is a state in which the digital and physical world are entangled.
The overuse of social media is contributing to health issues such as Internet addiction, depression and anxiety according to psychiatrists, Shaw and Black (2008, 356). As you can see from this recent study by Common Sense Media, 70% of US teens between the ages of thirteen to seventeen answered that they check social media more than once a day, with 16% of those teens stating that they are constantly checking social media.
But there are also larger social implications involved with social media binging: including hacking threats, online trolling and mass online movements.
Through the interdisciplinary context of Web Science, this report shall incorporate various theories from the fields of sociology and social psychology in order to outline the psychological and sociological impact of social media binging on a user’s online behaviour.
When looking at data collection, there are a large number of mature bodies of research from which this report shall draw pre-existing facts and data in order to aid the creation of new insights.
When choosing these disciplines, I searched for fields that would have shared integral focuses on society and its behaviours. I also wanted disciplines that would compliment each other and would allow for a higher chance of finding common ground.
This field of social psychology is focused on the study of topics such as group behaviour, social perception, nonverbal behaviour, conformity, aggression, and prejudice.
Social influences on behaviour are a major interest in social psychology, but social psychologists are also focused on how people perceive and interact with others.
I’d like to summarise what these theories are so that you can understand their potential influence within this project…
Social Identity Theory is the statement that individuals need to maintain a positive sense of personal and social identity: this is achieved by emphasising the attractiveness of one’s own group, focusing on distinctions between other “lesser” groups.
Conformity Theory is the act conforming to group pressures. group pressure may take different forms, for example bullying, persuasion, teasing, criticism, etc. Conformity is also known as majority influence (or group pressure).
Self Discrepancy Theory is the notion that people who hold conflicting or incompatible beliefs are likely to experience discomfort.
These three definitions were taken from a Web article on Social Psychology by Simon McLeod (2007).
The second discipline of choice is Sociology. I chose Sociology as it offers various theories and bodies of pre-existing research which compliment the aim of this project.
Relevant theories within sociology include Identity theory, Class-Dominant Theory, Limited-Effects theory and Culturalist theory.
I’d like to again, summarise what these theories are so that you can understand their potential influence within this project.
Limited Effects Theory argues that because people generally choose what to watch or read based on what they already believe, media exerts a negligible influence (Cliffsnotes.com, 2016).
Class-Dominant Theory argues that the media reflects and projects the view of a minority elite, which controls it. Those people who own and control the corporations that produce media comprise this elite (ibid.).
Culturalist Theory combines Class-Dominant and Limited Effects theories and claims that people interact with media to create their own meanings out of the images and messages they receive. This theory sees audiences as playing an active rather than passive role in relation to mass media (ibid.).
The concept of Symbolic Interactionism is common ground. Symbolic Interactionism is the theory of how the self is created from human interaction and involves the (usually) consensual trading of symbols by language or gesture. So essentially it’s the perspective that social reality is created, negotiated, and changed through the process of social interaction.
However, there are arguments that that the direction of strongest influence has run from social psychology to sociology due to the fact that social psychology provides the mechanisms that sociologists use for their studies
This study shall use Web Science as an interdisciplinary research tool, focusing on the technical and social impact of the Web, making it an integrational instrument for this particular work (Hendler J. et al. 2008, 61).
The evidence of merging social psychology and sociology in answer to questions within the context of the Web is lacking. Therefore this report offers new research insights.
So far, I have found that social media has become an integral part of society, which will of course affect society itself and a user’s online behaviour.
One common area of research found within these two disciplines is Symbolic Interactionism which is the theory of how the self is created from human interaction and involves the (usually) consensual trading of symbols by language or gesture (Hogg and Vaughan, 2018, 685).