Private message me s’il vous plait: Preferences for personal and masspersonal communications on Facebook among American and French students

Genavee Brown, Nicolas Michinov, Adriana M. Manago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Facebook, a social networking tool used worldwide, provides affordances for public/ masspersonal and private/personal communication. Based on previous cross-cultural research demonstrating that masspersonal communication is adaptive in individualistic cultural contexts, we hypothesized that using Facebook to broadcast messages to one’s entire network would be relatively more common and appealing to people in countries with greater individualistic values. To test this hypothesis, data were collected in two Western countries differing in levels of individualism, France (204 women, 47 men) and the U.S. (75 women, 89 men), through questionnaires measuring their Facebook use. Results indicated that American college students had larger Facebook networks and used both more masspersonal and personal communication with acquaintances compared to French college students. Masspersonal communication was mediated by network size. French students used more personal communication with friends than American students, but this association was not mediated by network size. These findings suggest that the appeal of masspersonal communication increases as a function of social network size, however, level of engagement in personal communication on Facebook is a function of other cultural differences between the U.S. and France, such as differences in individualistic values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages38
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume70
Early online date28 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes

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