Dissertation Spotlight- Kiki Van Son

Dissertation Spotlight- Kiki Van Son

GCNYC Student: Kiki Van Son

The following is excerpted from the Introduction to Kiki​’s Dissertation.

I am both a consumer who uses social media personally, and a marketer who uses social media professionally as a communications tool for businesses. In my experience, social media platforms benefit me the marketer more than they benefit me the consumer.

For my dissertation, I hypothesized that having an intent while using social media results in active engagement on the platform, and more positive influences on well-being as a result of one’s time being spent mindfully. Therefore, I suspect marketers or consumers who exhibit a similar level of awareness of social media as a marketing channel, such as consumers with a professional account rather than a personal profile, are the most likely to have positive associations with social media.

People who use Instagram for professional purposes configure their accounts and go about their activity similarly to the way a social media advertiser would—with clear objectives, a thoughtful plan of action, and measurement tactics to determine if their activities are working for them.

Alternatively, people who use Instagram strictly for checking in with friends are more likely to spend time on the app passively engaged. Without clearly defined reasons for being on the platform, they are more likely to get lost in the frictionless motions of the feeds, killing time scrolling through other people’s lives instead of doing things that matter to them.

Additionally, they are more likely to experience FOMO (fear of missing out) or poor self-esteem as a result of comparing their lives to others, leading to negative feelings associated with the platform and negative impacts on well-being, such as anxiety or depression.

For my research, I considered the distinct differences between social media and traditional marketing channels of the past, and caution, as the research suggests, that all users, including those who perceive social media platforms as marketing channels, are subject to some degree of worsened well-being as a result of using social media.

Please find a LINK HERE to Kiki’s Full Interview with Kerri Quinn, PhD, Director of Academic Engagement.