Fear Of Missing Out: Is Voyeurism Driving Teen Consumption of Social Media? Presented at Child and Teen Consumption Conference

Leigh Doster

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

    Abstract

    Purpose - This paper examines the role of voyeurism in teen use of social network sites (SNS), characterising voyeuristic practices and examining the effect on teen identity practices. Design/Methodology/Approach – Using empirical data from 26 in-depth interviews we explored teens’ voyeuristic behaviours and attitudes in Facebook (FB). Findings – Voyeurism was commonplace, habitual and central to teens’ enjoyment of SNS. These practices enabled them to: understand social hierarchies; access a wider range of symbolic codes/materials and reduce the risk inherent in identity experimentation. Research limitations/implications – The sample size was small and limited to one geographical area and older teens (16-19 years). Future studies could explore the prevalence and characteristics of these behaviours more widely. Practical Implications –Provides insights into the everyday practices of teen consumers and the stimuli that engage their attention. This provides opportunities for advertisers to emulate “voyeuristic” scenes and practices (e.g. gossip) into their creative approaches to enhance young consumer engagement and reduce perceived risk in identity experimentation. Social Implications – Socially accepted “mediated voyeurism” in SNS has reconfigured social norms around privacy, disclosure and observation of others. There are inherent risks in these behaviours however SNS widen teens’ scope for social comparison, self-evaluation and self-enhancement thereby improving their ability to develop coherent identity positions. Originality – This paper provides a valuable insight into the emerging behaviours of young consumers in digital environments. It extends our understanding of the success of SNS. Moreover it extends the literature on teenage identity development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventInternational Conference on Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Child and Teen Consumption - The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Apr 201411 Apr 2014

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Conference on Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Child and Teen Consumption
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityEdinburgh
    Period9/04/1411/04/14

    Bibliographical note

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