1. bookVolume 3 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2354-0036
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

New Digital Media and Flow: A Study of Experience

Published Online: 30 Dec 2016
Volume & Issue: Volume 3 (2016) - Issue 2 (December 2016)
Page range: 343 - 362
Received: 14 Mar 2016
Accepted: 08 Oct 2016
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2354-0036
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The burgeoning use of new digital media (NDM) platforms for social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has consistently been associated with out-group prejudice, less prosocial behaviour, less fulfilling friendships, and lower levels of moral reflection, integrity, and subjective well-being. But the context of NDM use is often neglected when examining its psychological effects. Moreover, such studies are limited to retrospective accounts and can benefit from examining episodic experiences of flow, boredom, apathy, and anxiety. Drawing on data collected using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), this study assessed the psychological impact of social networking on low and high media users. Participants (N = 65) were signaled six times per day for seven days and asked to respond to brief surveys about subjective momentary experiences. Findings indicated that high media users, on average, reported less positive moods, and also reported being significantly less creative and less energetic each day. Further, high media users reported deriving less meaning from daily activities, and were marginally less satisfied with the overall quality of their week than their low media user counterparts. When comparing all media users across flow quadrants, creativity, meaning, engagement, and energy levels were highest in flow, and substantially decreased across the remaining quadrants. Notably, self reported mood was slightly higher during instances of boredom than flow. However, a more nuanced comparison of these outcomes revealed that high media users reported being marginally more creative and engaged during boredom, thereby identifying differences in how the two groups approached social media.

Keywords

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