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Hannah Krasnova: Social Media: The Dark and The Ugly

January 16, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Abstract: Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, transform the society we live in today: They change the way we present ourselves, communicate with each other and spend our free time. As these platforms are increasingly permeating our daily routines, conversations, and leisure, many stakeholders keep asking about the meaning and long-term consequences of these changes. On the one hand, proponents express strong optimism in their positive value, viewing Social Media as a source of significant benefits at both individual and social levels. At the same time, opponents link Social Media use to the loss of privacy, feelings of inadequacy, and even depression. Our research suggests that the proliferation of envy feelings among SNS members may work as a mechanism behind the negative impact of Social Media on individual well-being. This finding is of tremendous social importance, as it may help to explain an array of negative emotional outcomes linked to Social Media use. Furthermore, spurred by social media, a widespread obsession with mobile devices has recently become obvious. We observe individuals forgo face-to-face communication, parental responsibilities and academic performance in favor of smartphone-enabled communication. Especially, parental addiction emerges as a troublesome development, with many parents neglecting their children and thereby threatening their cognitive and physical development, and above all their safety. Furthermore, students appear to suffer from lower visual and auditory attention when using smartphones during academic lectures. Finally, the loss of privacy has been frequently mentioned as a negative side-effect of Social Media participation. Specifically, a recent outcry surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal has triggered a discussion on whether users experience different levels of concern when it comes to the use of their information for political as opposed to product marketing purposes. While media attention around these events suggests elevated levels of concern when it comes to the use of personal user data for political campaigning, our empirical findings are drawing a different picture. Most recent results in this area will be presented during the talk.

About: Hanna Krasnova is a professor of Business Informatics, esp. Social Media and Data Science at the University of Potsdam. Hanna is a principal investigator at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society: The German Internet Institute, leading the research projects on “Digital Technologies and Well-Being” and “Digital Integration” (www.vernetzung-und-gesellschaft.de). In her research, she addresses the issues of social, individual and enterprise value of social media applications. She is the author of numerous research articles published, among others, in the Information Systems Research, Journal of Information Technology, and Journal of Strategic Information Systems. Her research about Facebook envy has been awarded the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik and has been covered by all major news outlets worldwide. Hanna has also been awarded a prize from the Dalle Molle Foundation.



January 16, 2019
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm