Discrepancies between Objectively Assessed and Self-Reported Daily Social Media Time in the Age of Platform Swinging

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Building on Junco’s (2013) study examining the accuracy of self-reported computer-specific time on Facebook, the current study investigates the accuracy of self-reported time on multiple social media (SM) platforms across multiple electronic devices and evaluates whether reporting accuracy is systematically associated with participant sex, individual SM platform in question, or total number of SM platforms used. Participants were 320 college students who downloaded software on their computers, tablets, and smartphones to track their active use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat over a 2-week surveillance period and then self-reported their daily average minutes on each platform immediately after. Larger proportions of students over- estimated than under-estimated their use, with the largest overestimations found on Snapchat and Instagram. Relative to males, females logged significantly more SM time and were less accurate in reporting. Overall, the likelihood of substantial inaccuracies in reporting total SM time and time on most individual platforms increased with each additional SM platform participants reported using. Findings from this study cast further doubt on the validity of self-report SM measures in the present SM landscape and underscore the need for either data analytic strategies to adjust for systematic reporting biases or a shift towards objective time-tracking methods.

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... Additional studies have examined the validity of selfreported SMU across various platforms. For example, in a large sample of college students, Boyle et al. (2022) examined the accuracy of self-reported SMU across various platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram [Mobile apps]) against a commercially available time management app. Results indicated variable under-and overestimation of SMU across apps, with newer apps (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram) evidencing greater overestimation than older apps (e.g., Facebook). ...
... Although the use of self-report measures for assessing SMU is relatively straightforward, this approach has been criticized for lack of evidence of predictive or concurrent validity as well as issues related to common method variance Meier & Reinecke, 2020;Steele et al., 2020). Indeed, although some studies have shown moderate correlations between self-reported and actual SMU (e.g., Junco, 2013;Sewall et al., 2020;Verbeij et al., 2022), recent studies also suggest significant discrepancies between selfreported and objectively reported SMU (e.g., Boyle et al., 2022;Burnell et al., 2021, Johannes et al., 2021Verbeij et al., 2021), as well as potential systematic differences in the validity of self-report measures of SMU. Thus, the present study was designed to examine the concurrent validity of self-reported SMU in a sample of adolescent and young adult smart phone users in the U.S. Consistent with previous findings (e.g., Junco, 2013;Sewall et al., 2020;Verbeij et al., 2022), our results suggest moderate correlations between self-reported and observed SMU, yielding some evidence for the validity of self-reported SMU in adolescents and young adults. ...
... Building on previous studies reporting that self-reported SMU overestimates actual use (e.g., Boyle et al., 2022;Burnell et al., 2021;Sewall et al., 2020;Verbeij et al., 2021), our results indicated that both adolescent samples and young adult samples frequently overestimate their SMU, but that adolescents are particularly likely to do so. Close to 50% of adolescents overestimated their SMU, whereas slightly less than 40% of young adults overestimated their SMU. ...
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A growing literature attests to the associations between social media use (SMU) and psychosocial outcomes. However, recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews indicate relatively small and inconsistent effect sizes across studies. Such reviews also indicate that measurement approaches have focused almost exclusively on self-report methodologies to assess SMU, raising concerns about the role of common method variance. The current study was designed to examine the concurrent validity of self-reported SMU, the degree to which objective SMU estimates fall within the categorical ranges indicated by the self-report data, and the degree to which objectively reported SMU explains psychosocial functioning beyond that accounted for by self-reported SMU in a sample of adolescents (n = 317) and young adults (n = 325). Results indicate small but significant associations between self-reported SMU and objective minutes of SMU (r = .25), number of pick-ups (r = .13), and number of notifications (r = .12). For approximately one-third (34.6%) of the total sample, objectively reported SMU fell within the range indicated by self-report categorical data. Slightly more participants (42.6%) overestimated their SMU relative to objective data. Finally, for adolescents only, objective SMU variables (pick-ups and notifications) was associated with self-reported depressive symptoms and social role functioning after accounting for self-reported SMU estimates. Overall, results support the use of self-reported SMU estimates, particularly in research designs that rely on correlational methods to examine associations between SMU and psychosocial outcomes. However, results also suggest that both adolescents and young adults significantly under- and over-report SMU relative to objective data.
... It was found that information value, social interaction value and self-presentation value had significantly positive impacts on consumers' brand community-swinging, which further fosters brand loyalty [42]. Bolye et al. examined the accuracy of self-reported computer-specific time on multiple social media platforms and evaluated the influencing factors of reported accuracy based on platform swinging context [43]. Zhang et al. investigated how Chinese journalists navigate multiple social media platforms and employ data-driven source as complements to traditional source in practices during COVID-19. ...
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By iheriting online natural properties, anonymous social media (ASM) applications have become popular and have attracted large amounts of mobile users (e.g., the youth) who can construct new identities for role-play and show themselves in anonymous ways. In order to investigate the influencing factors toward usage intention (UI) and platform swinging (PS) behavior among anonymous social applications, we choose one of the most active ASM App “Soul” as the example in China and then conducte a semi-structured interview with 23 valid Soul users using qualitative methods. The results show that the factors, i.e., perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived privacy riskiness, perceived anonymity, subjective norms, emotional attachments, and perceived interactivity, indeed affect UI among Soul users via online communication. Moreover, we find that PS behavior is ubiquitous among interviewees and mainly depends on diversified needs, which consist of nine dimensions including different position and function among apps, usage comparison, friend migration, etc. Nearly 80% of interviewees believe that there exists a relationship between UI and PS, which can be described as a inverted U-shaped curve, i.e., the higher or lower UI, the less probability of PS. For the individuals’ social media usage behavior, a closed loop “Attitude–Intention–Behavior” is summarized. By conducting qualitative research, we intend to provide some insights and deepen the understanding of UI among ASM users in daily life.
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