Professor Ugo Di Tullio from the University of Pisa, Dr. Federica Bianchini, and Dr. Virginia Bertelli recently released a significant study about social media users that focuses on their sentiment toward social platforms. The study stemmed from the desire to discover if and how young people relate to social media, particularly as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The starting point of the study examined the different levels of sentiment in the relationship between different generations and social media. First, this study found that younger people feel exploited because they are aware of the fact that the services offered by social media platforms are not free because they pay using their personal data. They are strongly aware that social networks collect their data, profile them on the basis of the interests of companies, building on a real typological model. Next, this study found that adults are not aware of the exploitation by social media because they are a generation that believes they only pay when they are using a credit card.
For the study, the researchers conducted a qualitative-quantitative study on 372 respondents. First, they sent an open-ended questionnaire regarding people’s sentiments and feelings about social media. People’s perceptions were calculated by giving them a value. The respondent’s attitudes toward the idea of being exploited by social media were measured and identified with general open-ended questions.
An example question was “When using social media, each user decides to publicly share some personal data that can be used by the media ‘owners’ in a variety of ways.” Regarding this statement, 77% of respondents have a mostly negative perception of the mechanism described. 76%, are young people born between 1995 and 2010, 15% are born between 1980 and 1994, 6% are born between 1965 and 1979, and 3% are born between 1946 and 1964, highlighting that the perception of the mechanism is increasingly negative as we consider younger generations.
Professor Ugo Di Tullio, Dr. Federica Bianchini, and Dr. Virginia Bertelli said, “As a society, we have to deal with social media and the consequences related to their use. Most young people are aware of their consequences and that the price to pay for using social media is their identity.”
Edited by Maryssa Gordon, Senior Editor, Price of Business Digital Network