Social Networking Tied To Reality TV

Users likely to accept unknown friends

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Reality TV fans are more likely to accept friends they don’t know in order to build larger networks on social networking sites than those who who watch less reality TV,according to researchers from the University of Buffalo and the University of Hawaii.

"Social cognitive theory suggests that we are always looking for different ways to behave," said Michael Stefanone, the primary researcher at UB. "When people on reality TV are rewarded for behaviors such as being the center of attention and gain celebrity from it, it communicates to the audience that these behaviors are good things."

The research found that by viewing such actions on TV, people are then more likely to adopt them as their own through social networking Web sites.

 "The more they watch, the more time they are likely to spend on Facebook gaining a larger network of friends, a good portion of whom they’ve never met and sharing more pictures of themselves," Stefanone said. "These activities are consistent with the media’s effect."

Stefanone says that age and gender are not factors when it comes to the likelihood of watching reality television, but woman are more likely to share photographs. "Gender roles are associated more with the value of image," Stefanone said. "Photos equal a type of social technology which is all about identity."


Social Networking Tied To Reality TV
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