Social Media Currency: Are you social media rich or poor?
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Background: Current research findings suggest that the use of social media may have both positive and negative effects on psychosocial factors. The Instagram Social Media Currency Scale (ISMCS) was developed as a method for assessing an individual’s interactions and activities on the Instagram social media platform. The term Social Media Currency refers to the multiple mediums of exchange and assets (likes, comments, follows etc.) holding social value that can be gained or lost through social media interaction. In this study, researchers used the ISMCS to measure social media behaviors and assessed psychological well-being.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide support for the validation of the Instagram Social Media Currency Scale (ISMCS) and to explore the psychological factors most associated with high scores on the ISMCS.
Method: A sample of 522 participants (Mage = 19.10; SD = 1.70) were recruited to participate in an online survey in order to assess their demographic backgrounds, social media activities/behaviors, psychosocial characteristics, and mental health. Univariate analyses were conducted in order to identify differences between low, medium, and high groups on the ISMCS spectrum. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify the demographic and psychosocial indicators most associated with individuals with high scores on the ISMCS.
Results: Univariate comparisons of validated social media scales provided validation of the ISMCS groups, indicating that individuals with high ISMCS scores have higher social media addiction, higher need for social media, and higher social media intensity (all p < .001). Results of the multivariate analysis revealed the demographic and psychosocial factors most associated with high ISMCS scores included high extraversion personality trait (p <.001), female gender identity (p <.001), non-Hispanic identity (p = .038), and increased frequency of upward (p <.001) and downward social comparisons (p = .015).
Conclusion: The findings in this study support validation of the ISMCS as a measure for social media behaviors and interactions. In addition, this study provided more understanding about the psychological and demographic factors linked to social media usage. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
CitationGomez, M. A. (2020). Social media currency: Are you social media rich or poor? (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.