Effects of Internet-based Media on Society

2702 words (11 pages) Essay

18th May 2020 Media Reference this

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Internet based media: Critical evaluation of research studies focused on Psychology and the Media.

 Internet based media, to include social media, email, social media sites, and internet-based television and radio, has plateaued since 2015 but nearly 65% of all Americans have access to internet services and nine-in-ten or more adults younger than 50 say they go online or own a smartphone (Hitlin, 2018).  Due to the prevalence of internet-based media, several research studies have been conducted to see what affect this new staple has on American culture.  This bibliography highlights some studies conducted to study the effects that internet-based media has had on societies. 

Organization formalization, sector and social media: Does increased

standardization of policy broaden and deepen social media use

in organizations?

Bretschneider, S., & Parker, M. (2016). Organization formalization, sector and social media:

Does increased standardization of policy broaden and deepen social media use in organizations? Government Information Quarterly, 33(4), 614–628. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2016.09.005

Information and communication technologies (ICT) includes technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications. This includes the internet, cellular phone networks as well as other forms of internet-based communications.  This article focused on how the three-stage process of adaption applies to how internet usage should be standardized across all sectors.  The study included a survey of 1100 respondents from different organizations that found evidence to suggest that organizations who have firm, clear rules regarding the use of social media have a greater success rate of delivering relevant information within certain organizations as well promoting efficient use among all sectors.  

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Within this article several theories were disproven, one of the most notable was that that restrictions, allowances and clarity of rules regarding email and social media use among organizational members have an impact on organizational innovation.  This is relevant due to the fact that a person’s free will on social media, may possibly have an impact on how they, as well as the organization they represent, appear to the unknown viewer.  For instance, a lot of prospective  employers will view a potential candidate’s social media accounts in an attempt to ascertain some sense of who the candidate is as a person. Depending on the results of the search, the prospective employer may pass over the candidate due the candidate’s views not matching the philosophy of the organization.

The role of social media in local government crisis communications

Graham, M. W., Avery, E. J., & Park, S. (2015). The role of social media in local government

crisis communications. Public Relations Review, 41(3), 386–394. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.02.001

 Due to social media’s presence and many citizens having access to various platforms, local governments have begun using social media as a means of communication in times of crisis.  Social media use by local governments during a crisis has been used as recently the Orlando Nightclub shooting in 2016 and assisted law enforcement with apprehending the suspects.  Social media has proven to be an important technology for other disaster response due to its openness of communication. 

This study was conducted using survey data collected from over 300 local government officials from across the country.  The study was designed to identify social media use and the effectiveness of these platforms during times of crisis.  71% of the officials used social media during crisis, with 53% of those using Facebook as the primary source to gather and disseminate information.  While the results indicated that social media use during crisis was effective, it doesn’t validate to what extent this effectiveness is achieved. 

I believe this study was interesting because it demonstrates the government’s ability to adapt to its citizens.  It has become a common occurrence, sadly, to find about tragic events via social media.  While this information can be stressful and depressing, it can also be informative and helpful when dealing with crisis related events.  If a mass shooting were to occur in my vicinity and the suspect(s) were not apprehended, I would want to know what was going on and who to be aware of in order to not only save my own life, but the life of another innocent individual.  

Athletes as Advocates:

Influencing Eating-Disorder Beliefs

and Perceptions Through Social Media

Mitchell, F. R., Santarossa, S., & Woodruff, S. J. (2018). Athletes as Advocates: Influencing

Eating-Disorder Beliefs and Perceptions Through Social Media. International Journal of Sport Communication, 11(4), 433–446. doi: 10.1123/ijsc.2018-0112

This article focused on a study conducted to determine the influence athletes had on social media after revealing that they suffered from eating disorders.  Joey Julius (NCAA athlete, Penn State Football) and Mike Marjama (MLB player, Seattle Mariners) revealed in 2016 and 2018 that they both suffered from eating disorders on different social media platforms; Julius via Facebook and Marjama via Twitter.  While both of these cases were rare for athletes participating in “non-lean” (gymnastics, figure skating, and dance) sports, it was even rarer due to the fact that they became advocates for this social issue. 

The study was conducted using software to analyze the records and responses submitted to both athlete’s perspective pages.  This study aimed to examine the interactions and influences that occurred on Twitter after Joey Julius’s and Mike Marjama’s ED diagnoses were revealed. Although Mike Marjama has a larger media presence as a Major League Baseball (MLB) player, Joey Julius invoked a larger conversation.  The conclusion of the study showed that athletes can use social media as a platform to influence and bring awareness to certain social issues, but depending on the level of exposure could influence the impact of the intended message.

Social media has become the athlete’s most important medium for communication with fans. It has been used in various ways to educate and influence as well as offer an uncensored look into athlete’s lives.  What can be concluded from this article, in my opinion, is that while the athlete’s exposure can influence opinions, the cause or information is more likely to be received based on its relevancy to the public.  While the athlete’s mentioned in this article no doubt have had struggles within their lives, a lot of people who follow sports in general may not take an interest in an athlete with an eating disorder, especially athletes that are not considered sports icons.  No offense, but Joey Julius and Mike Marjama combined will never reach as many people as a Lebron James or Mike Trout. 

A social media text analytics framework for double-loop learning for

citizen-centric public services: A case study of a local government Facebook use

Reddick, C. G., Chatfield, A. T., & Ojo, A. (2017). A social media text analytics framework for

Double-loop learning for citizen-centric public services: A case study of a local government Facebook use. Government Information Quarterly, 34(1), 110–125. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2016.11.001

 Double-loop learning is an educational concept and process that involves teaching people to think more deeply about their own assumptions and beliefs (Cartwright, 2002). This article encompassed a case-study of citizen- to-government online interactions on a local government’s department Facebook page in an attempt to readjust the citizen’s recycling habits. 

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The study was conducted by first using Facebook posts to citizens advocating their participation in the government’s recently started recycling initiative.  It has been proven that when governments use social media platforms there are opportunities for democratic participation, coproduction, and crowdsourcing solutions and innovations.  However the risks might outweigh the rewards due to citizens becoming more involved, they feel as if they can ask for more changes in which governments may not have the resources to facilitate.  This ultimately led to the conclusions drawn by the authors.  The Double-Loop learning theory may not be useful for certain social media platforms such as Facebook due to Facebook primarily being used for single loop learning.  Also, governments may not choose to use a participatory social media strategy due to budget constraints and the inability to comply with all requests. 

Thoughts on this article did not generate much interest on my behalf.  Government social media feeds, in my opinion, should be used to gather information about municipalities not as a site for constituents to complain or governments to influence. This study showed me that governmental influence through social media is indeed effective, provided that the right platform is used. 

Use of social media for e-Government in the public health sector: A

systematic review of published studies

Tursunbayeva, A., Franco, M., & Pagliari, C. (2017). Use of social media for e-Government in

the public health sector: A systematic review of published studies. Government Information Quarterly, 34(2), 270–282. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2017.04.001

This article attempts to assess the use of social media use within eGovernment.  E-government (short for electronic government) is the use of technological communications devices, such as computers and the Internet to provide public services to citizens and other persons in a country or region. The amount of information regarding does not coincide with information indicating a clear use of social media for the public sector.

For purposes of this research, a literary review was conducted from four international data bases and materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels (gray literature). Of the 2441 studies viewed, only 22 were permissible for purposes of the study.  The lack of information led to inconclusive data and basically deemed this study useless.

This article did not provide any useful information regarding its topics or research needed to improve the hypothesis.  Although it provided a good format for research, no useful information was gathered that would assist with the topics addressed.


Leveraging social media to achieve a community policing agenda

Williams, C. B., Fedorowicz, J., Kavanaugh, A., Mentzer, K., Thatcher, J. B., & Xu, J. (2018).

Leveraging social media to achieve a community policing agenda. Government Information Quarterly, 35(2), 210–222. doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2018.03.001

Social media use by law enforcement has become common in our society as law enforcement attempts to reach the general public and empower them to assist with policing their communities. Law enforcement agencies are still experimenting with other uses for social media that will have positive effects on their communities.  The basis of this study was grounded in agenda-setting theory. The purpose of this experiment was to identify police departments’ social media issue priorities, in comparison to what the general public finds to be useful. 

To conduct this experiment, accounts from Facebook and Twitter from 5 similarly sized police departments were analyzed for a 90-day period to ascertain if the information related to the general public by the police departments was relevant to the citizens who followed these accounts.  Along with data collection from these accounts, interviews with these jurisdictions were conducted to understand the similarities and differences in agenda priorities resulting from their social media goals and use.  It was concluded that while there are differences and similarities in how both parties communicate on social media, the information disseminated by the law enforcement bodies was helpful to its intended audiences and the agenda setting priorities set forth were not hindering the communities in which they were intended to serve.

In my opinion, this article was informative and helpful due to it focusing on the innovation of law enforcement in an effort to interact with the communities and empower them to “take back” the streets.  As a former member of law enforcement, I follow several law enforcement pages in an effort to keep up with local and national news as well as being aware of criminal activity that may go unreported through television.  This article shows that police interaction with communities has evolved from face to face interaction to the digital age; much like society has evolved. 


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