Last week, my co-authors and I had a paper appear on factors that influence how likely someone who leaves Facebook is to return to site. The paper was published in the stellar new journal Social Media + Society. The term “stellar” is deliberate, as the journal’s editorial board basically reads like an all-star list of social media researchers.
Well, the paper has now been covered in a few media outlets. In addition to the official Information Science press release, stories have appeared in the Huffington Post, the International Business Times, IT News, and DNA India. I also was interviewed by local Ithaca radio station WHCU and Rochester TV station WHAM, and the latter interview is online.
It’s nice to see so much interest in the work, especially since I’ll be publishing lots more on this topic in the near future.
Update (12/23): More coverage in the Huffington Post, in NY Daily News, and in Daily Mail UK.
Eric P. S. Baumer, Shion Guha, Emily Quan, David Mimno, & Geri Gay. (2015). How Non-use Experiences Influence the Likelihood of Social Media Reversion: Perceived Addiction, Boundary Negotiation, Subjective Mood, and Social Connections. Social Media + Society.
This article examines social media reversion, when a user intentionally ceases using a social media site but then later resumes use of the site. We analyze a convenience sample of survey data from people who volunteered to stay off Facebook for 99 days but, in some cases, returned before that time. We conduct three separate analyses to triangulate on the phenomenon of reversion: simple quantitative predictors of reversion, factor analysis of adjectives used by respondents to describe their experiences of not using Facebook, and statistical topic analysis of free-text responses. Significant factors predicting either increased or decreased likelihood of reversion include, among others, prior use of Facebook, experiences associated with perceived addiction, issues of social boundary negotiation such as privacy and surveillance, use of other social media, and friends’ reactions to non-use. These findings contribute to the growing literature on technology non-use by demonstrating how social media users negotiate, both with each other and with themselves, among types and degrees of use and non-use.
Eric P. S. Baumer, Morgan G. Ames, Jenna Burrell, Jed R. Brubaker, & Paul Dourish. (2015). Why Study Technology Non-use? First Monday, 20(11).
This special issue provides an opportunity to rethink how we approach, study, and conceptualize human relationships with, and through, technology. The authors in this collection take a multiplicity of approaches on diverse topics to develop a rigorous theoretical understanding for non-use, setting crucial groundwork for future research.