Publication

What Are Meaningful Social Interactions in Today’s Media Landscape? A Cross-Cultural Survey

Social Media + Society


Abstract

As we increasingly integrate technology into our lives, we need a better framework for understanding social interactions across the communication landscape. Utilizing survey data in which more than 4,600 people across the United States, India, and Japan described a recent social interaction, this article qualitatively and quantitatively explores what makes an interaction meaningful. A qualitative analysis of respondents’ own words finds that meaningful interactions are those with emotional, informational, or tangible impact that people believe enhance their lives, the lives of their interaction partners, or their personal relationships. A quantitative analysis predicting respondents’ ratings of recent interactions finds the attributes most likely to facilitate meaningfulness include strong ties (e.g., friends and family), community ties (e.g., neighbors), shared activities, and synchronicity; meaningful social interactions are also more likely to be planned in advance and memorialized with photos or videos. These attributes are consistent across cultures. Although popular rhetoric often juxtaposes people’s online lives against their offline lives, this research finds in-person interactions can be just as meaningful as technology-mediated interactions. We conclude with a new framework for thinking about social interactions more holistically.

Related Publications

All Publications

Acustico: Surface Tap Detection and Localization using Wrist-based Acoustic TDOA Sensing

Jun Gong, Aakar Gupta, Hrvoje Benko

ACM UIST - October 19, 2020

Country Differences in Social Comparison on Social Media

Justin Cheng, Moira Burke, Bethany de Gant

CSCW - October 17, 2020

High-sensitivity multispeckle diffuse correlation spectroscopy

Edbert J. Sie, Hui Chen, E-Fann Saung, Ryan Catoen, Tobias Tiecke, Mark A. Chevillet, Francesco Marsili

Neurophotonics - September 26, 2020

Feel The Music: Automatically Generating A Dance For An Input Song

Purva Tendulkar, Abhishek Das, Aniruddha Kembhavi, Devi Parikh

ICCC - September 7, 2020

To help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience, we use cookies. By clicking or navigating the site, you agree to allow our collection of information on and off Facebook through cookies. Learn more, including about available controls: Cookies Policy