Understanding Social Media’s Impact on the Technical Communication Field

I can remember the first time I signed up for Facebook  (which seems like so long ago now). It was a whole new space that I learned to navigate quickly as a preteen, but as I got older, my use of social media changed. It went from always posting, liking, and messaging to liking and posting occasionally. The shift in my use can be attributed to getting older but I tend to use it when I just want to wind down. Although I can attribute my use to winding down, not everyone is the same. In Bryan Den and colleagues’ article, Stress and Its Impact on Social Media Usage, the authors study stress in relation to social media use.

Social media can play various roles in a user’s life, and it can be a stressful factor. However, what if users turn to social media to decompress? This type of interaction with platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media platforms is what Den and colleagues argue is a possibility. They study the way stress can cause the use of social media to increase. The author’s do not directly relate this study to the technical communication field, but one can infer its correlation to the field. Those in the field of technical communication have an opportunity to expand on this study by studying how stress may cause an increased use of social media. The lenses to look at this through is user behavior and user interface.

What is it about these two tools that may contribute to the increase of social media use when a user is stressed? Thinking of this possible overlap with the technical communication field, the importance to the field is to see how user behavior in accordance with the user interface can be used to expand on the author’s idea. It can be seen as an ethical issue in the field or a standard practice to learn how to keep users interested in using a website, platform, or application. 

Resources

Stress and Its Impact on Social Media Usage, by Bryan Den, Wenchen Denq, and Wenchin Hsu


Viewpoint Written by Andi Silva, Texas State University

Viewpoint Edited by Talia Chavez, Texas State University


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