Age, social media and competition.

In Church’s and Thambusamy’s: Competition and Information Deception in Online Social Networks the authors analyzed the social media usage patterns of 499 university college students, with the aim to of examining the role of competition in determining the cause of personal information deception(PID) on online social networks(OSN). The paper suggested competition against others as the driving force of such antics for several reason status benefits, hedonic benefits and competitive norms. I agree with most of the claims made in this paper, however I believe it lacks consistency in some areas particularly on the case studies used, which may be due a phenom that I describe as technological age gap, as someone who didn’t grow up with social media provides his or her critique on these platforms.

The paper follows a structure similar to a lab report, an abstract, introduction, main and conclusion. However the content within these sections appeal differently to me, the article went in extreme amounts of detail on common social media phenoms, as PID is often called “catfishing” in slang language and most social media users in our age group are very aware of these accounts. This suggests the targeted audience of this paper may be individuals who don’t use social media on a regular basis, this idea can be seen throughout the essay as the authors often over-explaining simple concepts and often uses other articles and examples to govern a simple idea instead of provided more explanation to the results. Another aspect of the paper I found interesting is the paper reference to other studies, compared to other readings this paper made a specific point saying “according to their knowledge this is the first paper to apply Baggozi’s framework” this is interesting because the paper has to specifically address this issue, this may suggest the authors believe the audience to have read similar papers before and want to set themselves apart.

However, I would like to approach this article as someone not reading into the specific language in the discourse community, as I believe the author fails to acknowledge between the knowledge gap between readers of different age and background. For example, the article generally has a negative outlook on social media, though the article has identified possible flaws and limitation of their approach. The article suggested 5 hypothesis throughout, where the center point focused on competition cause PID, though this is true to many extents and the framework suggested is valid I believe the argument can be argued to be fundamentally misleading as was never defined within context PID itself can be interrupted in different ways. For example, PID may be a way for individuals to hide their identity online because they do not want to be traceable, on the other hand, someone on Instagram with heavily edited photos can be also argued as PID. Therefore is PID always bad?  I believe this question is interrelated with age, as when I first read this article I thought it was brilliant however when I told my dad about the claims made he disagrees, in his point of view PID makes you less competitive, he believes PID can craft a false exceptions that you may not meet in real life causing a difference between reality in exceptions.

This leads me to my second argument the age gap, I argue that the type of PID exercise in the different age group is fundamentally different. The article argues that online social network as a platform is competitive, however, I believe this idea is valid however the degree in which it affects different between should be identified. Taking me and my moms Instagram account about as an example, she has 34 followers all of whom she has regular in real life in and I have 300 followers with people I meet at school or even online. The main difference is the degree of connection we have with people in our online community. She posts regularly mainly about food and family endeavorers, and I rarely post usually and when I do it takes long though as I want to make sure its a good photo.  My approach can be a form fo PID as I only post photos that I believe makes me” “look good”, however, my mothers approach is authentic and requires less thought. I believe this is because we want to portray our best appearance when we have people we are not familiar with a view or liking our post. Applying this logic to the article, yes this article describes the typical teenage social media usage, thus in order for this article to be more credible, the subjects shouldn’t be only university students.

One minor thing I found interesting is this article is the use of popular and viral social media trends into the argument, for example, the paper uses the example of 50 cents this example made the paper more appealing and relatable to me when I was reading. Though I may have disagreed with some arguments afterward, including these examples made me more engaged when reading the paper as it appeals to my culture. This creates a parallel with the heavily over descriptive language used as the authors acknowledge the Instagram PID culture but proceeds to over describe it. Another example used is PokemonGo however as an active PokemonGo player I believe the example is false and doesn’t apply, PokemonGo actually promotes cooperative play, as often members of the different team have to come together to enjoy the game to the fullest extent. Due to this inconsistency, I started to doubt the creditability of the article.

Relating this discourse community to others, I believe this discourse community is a mixture of experiments and empirical analysis. A hybrid between paper by Bateson and Hutcheon and the business community, though the paper revolves around experiments and data with straight to the point approach it also leaves room for discussion an interruption. For example, the business competition aims to represent a conclusion with the high degree of credibility through a use of statics prior studies, however in this discourse community data is interrupted and a conclusion is to provide upon the author’s opinion. One question I have for this discourse community and this paper especially, why is empirical examination the main focus, doesn’t a normative focus be more suitable as people online aims to stand out from the norm?

In relation to other post made, I believe other to share the same opinion as I do social media is not a platform that has to be written as negative. Moreover branching out to post regarding other papers tiffanyma2018 outlook Competition and Collaboration on China’s video website regulation is interesting as she’s from Hong Kong, a city part of China but has a separate legislative council. She has a very skeptical point of view, I wonder if her point of view reflected in her political views as well. ( I would like to further my point but post made at this point is limited)


  1. Hi! Cool response, I didn’t read the article but could still follow the line of thought so thanks 🙂 when you talked about mom-Instagram accounts, spam accounts popped into my head. I think that the personal spam IGs kinda present the same behaviour as mom-accounts? So like sharing personal, more authentic stuff with a smaller group of people? It still doesn’t solve the age group problem of the study but it just made me think that we also use IG in different ways


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