College of Liberal Arts
Communication Studies Department
BA in Communication Studies
This study examines recipients’ perceptions of an acquaintance’s message when sent through various social media platforms to identify the effect it has on the perception of discomfort and flirtatiousness. A posttest-only experimental design was utilized in which participants viewed hypothetical messages over varying platforms for each of the three conditions (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram). After viewing one of the manipulated messages, participants (N = 71) completed measures to assess their perceptions related to perceived flirtatiousness and discomfort. Primary results indicate that there was no variation between perceptions of flirtatiousness between the three platforms. However, Facebook provided the most discomfort for recipients, Instagram provided moderate discomfort, and Snapchat provided recipients with the least perceived discomfort. This study suggests that different social media platforms can contribute to different levels of discomfort when receiving a somewhat vague message from an acquantaince.