Social TV is the new digital watercooler: personality traits, behaviors, and trends in second-screen media activity

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University of Alabama Libraries

The increase in use of social media and portable touchscreen devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets, etc.) have given television program viewers the ability to interact in real-time, even if they do not share a proximal physical space. The result has been that an increasing number of people are turning to their “second-screen” devices to share their reactions to television shows instantly through Social TV. The purpose of this study was to examine why participants are motivated to use Social TV, and to understand what personality traits may be associated with Social TV use. Survey methodology was used, and respondents were recruited using a snowball sampling procedure. Results indicated that Social TV was often negatively predicted by conscientiousness and positively predicted by neuroticism. However, all elements of the Big Five personality traits yielded some significant relationships with Social TV usage and the likelihood of sharing information regarding favorite TV programs. This research extended previous work on the Big Five, Facebook, and Social TV by examining the relationship between belonging and self-presentation that was proposed by Nadkarni and Hofmann (2012) and extended by Seidman (2013). This theoretical framework shows great promise in helping to understand how the Big Five personality traits are connected to Social TV use.

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Mass communication