Searching for the Good Vibes: Examining the Relationship Between Self-transcendent Social Media and Social Isolation
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Liebler, Carol M.
Mass Communication, media psychology
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology | Theory and Philosophy
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and well-being have been a serious concern for researchers. Studies have shown that social isolation brought on by lockdowns and social distancing have led to increased feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness (Giallonardo et al., 2020; Pancani et al., 2021). Researchers have also discovered that self-transcendent media and eudaimonic media experiences generate positive feelings of inspiration, relatedness, awe, and connectedness (Oliver et al., 2019). The purpose of this mixed methods study is to explore the relationship between self-transcendent social media video consumption and feelings of loneliness and social disconnectedness attributed to social isolation. In a qualitative study, RQ1 asked what types of social media video content produce eudaimonic media experiences, and RQ2 asked what factors influence an individual to consume self-transcendent social media video content. A list of social media video types reported to foster eudaimonic media experiences was generated and the motivations for consuming self-transcendent social media video content is discussed. A quantitative study was then conducted, hypothesizing that (H1) the more self-transcendent media is consumed, the fewer the feelings of loneliness associated with social isolation will be reported, and (H2) the more self-transcendent media is consumed, the fewer the feelings of social disconnectedness associated with social isolation will be reported. Both hypotheses were partially supported. The thesis concludes with a discussion that outlines the implications of this research, and proposes new directions for the future exploration of self-transcendent media and the eudaimonic media experience.
Peters, David P., "Searching for the Good Vibes: Examining the Relationship Between Self-transcendent Social Media and Social Isolation" (2022). Theses - ALL. 612.