One Click, Many Meanings: Interpreting Paralinguistic Digital Affordances in Social Media

Rebecca A. Hayes, Caleb T. Carr, Donghee Yvette Wohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study we conceptualize cues in social media that require a single click (e.g., Likes, Favorites) as paralinguistic digital affordances (PDAs). Why do people use PDAs and how do they interpret them when they are the recipient? Through focus groups (N = 25) and interviews (N = 26) we address these research questions within a uses and gratifications framework. Using adaptive structuration theory as a lens for analysis, we examine both faithful and ironic uses of PDAs, finding they contribute more than phatic communication and may indicate just as much about the relationship between sender and receiver as they do content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-187
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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