Media Use, Face- to-Face Communication, Media Multitasking, and Social Well-Being

Topics: Sociology, Facebook, Percentile Pages: 5 (1698 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Media Use, Face- to-Face communication, Media Multitasking, and Social Well-Being Among 8- to 12-Year-Old Girls


In an online survey through Discovery Girls magazine, researchers examined how the use of media devices, video games, video use, and other modern day electronics and social media devices affect social well-being in 8 to 12 year old girls. The study uses regression analyses using how much time young girls used certain electronics and other forms of media. The study found that a negative social well-being was associated with high levels of media use, specifically the use of videos. Comparatively, face-to-face communication was strongly associated with positive social well-being indicators. Simply owning a phone or having a computer or television in their room was shown to have little impact on well-being. Researchers theorize probable causes of these relationships, possible implications of these finding, and call for study designs to address interconnection (Pea et al., 2012).

Researchers had previously addressed social development and the consequences of modern day media use on cognitive development. However, researchers at Stanford University were concerned with the lack of focus of multitasking and the general oversight to consider time spent in face-to-face communication in studies concerning social relationships and the effect of media use. This study examined those oversights in a large-scale survey on modern electronics and media use how they affect social well-being in girls 8 to 12 years old (Pea et al., 2012). Modern day cognitive development and how the use of electronics, computers, Facebook, and other similar media effects our development is something that personally interests me. Sherry Turkle’s work in this field is something I find extremely interesting. Participants

The subjects of this study were 3,461 North American girls ages 8 to 12 years who submitted information through a Discovery Girls magazine online survey. A half-page advertisement was posted in the September 2010 issue of Discovery Girls that directed them to the online survey. They were told if they completed the survey they would be entered into a drawing to win a free iPod. However, this study was limited to young girls only with access to a computer and internet. 95% of participants responded they had access to a computer in their home, well above national average. Information on income, parent education, race, or ethnicity data was not collected (Pea et al., 2012). Measures & Instruments

According to Pea (2012), “[The] level of media multitasking was defined as the mean number of media a person simultaneously consumes when consuming media” (p. 330). Researched created a media multitasking index (MMI) for all participants. For each of the six categories asked regarding media use, researches asked “On an average day, how long do you X” (defined as hi). Then, researchers asked “On an average day, which X-ing, how often are you doing the following other activities at the same time?” (defined at mi,j). Then, according to Pea (2012), “it was then a straightforward matter to compute the MMI as follows: mi,j÷hi Thus, the MMI is a count of the number of additional media an individual is using when using a medium” (p. 330) Procedures

Six categories for media use were used along with a seventh category of face-to-face communication. Categories were as follows: watching video content (TV, YouTube, movies, etc.), including playing video games; listening to music; reading or doing homework; e-mailing or sending messages/posting on Facebook, MySpace, etc. (not including Facebook chat); texting or instant messaging (including Facebook chat); talking on the phone or video chatting; and participating in face-to-face conversations (Pea et al., 2012). Young girls were asked “On an average day, how long do you X” with X being one of the seven categories. They were asked this question for all categories. This...

References: Pea, R., Nass, C., Meheula, L., Rance, M., Kumar, A., Bamford, H., . . . Zhou, M. (2012). Media use, face-to-face communication, media multitasking, and social well-being among 8- to 12-year-old girls. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 327-336.
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