School of Communication and the Arts
Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)
Jessica D. Ptomey
Primary Subject Area
Social Media, Interpersonal Communication, Social Media Communication, Family and friends communication
Wolf, Patrick Joseph, "American Young Adults' Self-Perception of Interpersonal Communication with Family and Friends Online through Social Media and In-Person" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3754.
Social media has been a dominant factor in the emerging world of 2022. Nearly all-American young adults (ages 18-24) have some mobile device and form of social media. However, the effects of mass social media consumption have not fully been applied to Communication scholarship, particularly regarding multiple social media applications' effects on young adults' interpersonal communication abilities with family and friends. Applying Walter Ong's Theory of Second Orality to social media today and Social Exchange Theory, Social Penetration Theory, Relational Communication Theory, and Family Systems Theory helped find comparative academic research that aided in grounding the theoretical framework of this study. This study was a quantitative survey that analyzed 1,236 viable responses and the Socio-Psychological phenomena occurring in American young adults' perceptions of their social media use and interpersonal communication abilities with family and friends. This study found that American young adults are more likely to communicate with their family and friends and self-disclose personal information online through social media than in-person. It was also found that American young adults feel that their ideas, emotions, and thoughts are understood by their family and friends more online through social media than in-person. Lastly, there were relationships between daily social media usage in hours and the responses to the twelve 5-point Likert scale survey questions, except no relationship between daily social media usage and Likert scale survey questions 7 and 8.