How Deception Applies Now.

Church and Thambusamy used Facebook as their social network in the experiment because it was one of the most popular social media platforms in young adults, at the time of the experiment. Facebook is used to communicate with ‘friends’, people you know or know of generally, while having functions such as being able to update your status and be notified of events. Although Facebook is no longer the most popular social media platform among young adults, but instead platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat have taken over. These social media platforms have different functions than Facebook, the platform used in the experiment, wither it be by its function or its relationship between users. Due to the different purposes of these prominent online social networks, I ask the question would happen if the results of this experiment were applied to currently more popular social network such as Instagram or Snapchat?

There is regularly a very large number of users each user ‘follows’, which allows for a high appearance of perceived status. Instagram is known for being a huge platform where people share large amounts of their lives to the public, but it is also known for only showing the ‘highlights’ of a user’s life. Users are likely to share large amounts of information, but that information is often manipulated to that it shows some positive aspect of the user. Applying this to the study, people who wish to compete are less likely to refuse to disclose information, but they are more likely to have the intention of misrepresenting that personal information.

Compared to Instagram, Snapchat has a lower desire for online comparison. This, according to the findings of the paper would be due to the low presence of perceived status benefits. The low presence of perceived status benefits is due to the closer friend group and, interacting with fewer users.  Unlike Instagram Snapchat is more commonly used to send casual photos between friends where status is not a prominent aspect between users.

It seems from this that these findings can be applied to major online social networks other than the one originally used in the experiment. This just further strengthens Church and Thambusamys argument and applies it to a slightly more modern context. Given the different functions and purposes of these social networks, and their predicted similar responses the findings of the paper, it can be said that findings of this paper, the effects of perceived status and hedonic benefits and their positive relation to the desire for competition can be applied to online social networks throughout time; As well as a users intentions to share more of their personal information, but for that information to me manipulated.

Are there other factors that would also increase or desire to compete online?  Garcia’s idea of social comparisons between people could have an effect with how user’s ability to interact with each other in different social networks. It may be possible that users who are more aware of each other but do no share a close relationship will be more likely so compare themselves to one another. This idea of social comparison between strangers brings up the question of an individual’s mental health effecting their desire, possibly by increasing the perceived status benefits, was mentioned in Charles reading response. This idea is important to take into consideration and along with the type of interaction between users could highlight a different aspect effecting one desire to compete online.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Kaitlyn, good read. I like the initial question of your post which is was, what if the experiment was applied to the most popular social media platforms today, which I agree are snapchat and instagram. My answer on the topic is pretty similar to what was said in your post; I believe that it would be significantly different due to the different functions and elements of the platforms. I agree with you on that one, and it makes me think, what if we ask the question of how the factor of age may contribute to the level of engagement and social comparison functions of these platforms? Thanks for the read, it was well formatted and said.


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