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The Impact of Mixed Media on Young Women News Consumption Habits

1.0 Introduction

Mixed social media has become a worldwide platform for social interaction for young women. Young women use social media often for posting their videos and photos in promoting their lived experiences, drawing attention to their appearances exposing them to numerous feedback from others. The interactive nature of mixed social media has enabled the users to comment publicly on the appearances if each other as well as their own appearances which creates a complex system of their body images and the appearances of their socialization. The online contributions of mixed social media have in several ways contributed to unrealistic negative self-evaluations and goals which in one way may trigger sensitive feelings resulting to lower moods and sources of stress. Therefore, mixed social media used by young women is likely to include social and judgmental comparison processes. Particularly, the use of social media by young women has been found to be a significant risk factor for emotional maladjustments such as social anxiety and depression symptoms. In the contrary social media experiences based on appearances have been associated strongly with the symptoms of maladjustments in relation to appearance including appearance, sensitivity, and anxiety towards rejection that is based on women appearances.

The usage of social media by women has been highly associated with dissatisfaction with their body images. For instance, adolescents especially girls and young women who often use social media have had challenges with body dissatisfaction. The majority of young women have had much encouragement of achieving idealized body shapes. Images portrayed by media, especially those that are presented within the advertisement context of weight and dieting, have promoted the idea of body shapes. Therefore, this has led to the huge impact of mixed media on the exposure of media images with controlled conditions in which idealized bodies are present. However, the majority of young women are unlikely to be affected by the idealized images to the same degree since young women become more vulnerable with their attention focused on their appearance.

1.1 Background of the study

The impact of mixed media on young women use consumption habits has been a common topic on social media. The majority of young women have been associated with the appearance anxiety that has involved the elements of dissatisfaction of their bodies plus inclusive behaviors and thoughts that are related to the concerns of their bodies which may interfere with their day-to-day living. Although there has been little study on appearance anxiety in young women, the patterns of body esteem and dissatisfaction suggest how appearance anxiety progresses. Attention in social media has always focused on personal perspectives hence a huge distraction. The adoption of social media uses that has affected boundary behavior. Body dissatisfaction has reached normative levels among young women since its one of the most robust and consistent, maintenance and risk factors for eating disorders. The social and cultural models of eating disturbances and body dissatisfaction have been highlighted in the role of social media by the development and maintaining of young women’s body concerns. The social media comparison theories have proposed that young women have an innate drive of evaluating their progress and standing in various aspects of their daily lives whereby in the absence of objective standards, women always compare themselves to others so that they get a full understanding of where they stand with others.

1.2 Significance of the study

This study is carried out with a major aim of providing significant and crucial information plus knowledge in regard to the chosen topic from recent studies, respondents, and related sites required for expected significance study. The study was conducted to know mixed media has impacted young women’s news consumption habits. The findings of this research will redound to the society benefiting young women considering that mixed social media plays a significant role in young women news consumption habits today. The huge demand for young women’s consumption habits having been impacted by missed media justifies the need for appearance anxiety. Therefore, researchers and young women should apply the recommended approach that will be derived from this research to help understand their news consumption habits better. Young women will be fully guided on what should be put under-emphasis by social media users to improve their views and feeling on body appearances and dissatisfaction. Additionally, for the researchers, this research will help them to fully uncover the critical and significant areas in the social media processes concerning young women’s consumption habits processes that the majority or several researchers failed or were not able to explore.

2.0 Literature review

Under the literature review, I will explore the development of new technologies of media that may affect young women through their change in the habitual preferences in their usage of mixed social media. First, I will explore the concept of hybrid media as a major background as to why and how the hybridization of several types of platforms of social media are taking place in today’s world. Additionally, I will explore the different changes and habits that exist in the use of social media today by young women and then relate it to the hybrid development of social media. Lastly, I will carry out an analysis and explain the various trends in the consumption and production of social media content in today’s world and provide a huge analysis of how it has impacted young women’s news consumption habits.

According to Chadwick (2013). Hybrid media is defined in terms of the distinction between the old and new media and it was commonly used during the past to describe and explain different technologies of media and the distinction between media. The terms new and old actually should be relative terms therefore its results in a gradual convergence between old and new media and the various types of media that can core exist hence known as media hybridity. Hybrid media is a significant part of the transition that exists in the industry of media with the quick development of communication and digital technologies. From the course of my previous study, I have argued that the introduction of hybrid media has been discussed widely by numerous scholars within the past five years which is a huge a significant shortcoming of my study on the most fundamental part and concept of hybrid media.

According to Chadwick, (2013), the primary aim is to discuss how media hybridity is related to politics which is a significant part of social development. Hybridity has been one of the few concepts that can be literarily discussed in a manner that is interdisciplinary. Hence, some of the definitions by Chadwick on the concept of hybridity media are very informative for my study and all his discussion allows for a greater and critical look at the findings in the relation of social media perspectives on hybrid media development. For instance, some of Chadwick’s views on the online environment today are very informative and can be discussed deeply in relation to the hybrid nature of media that is presented on social media.

Chadwick, (2013) claims that from the earliest days of oral communication to today’s digital communication, media has relied on the technological, digital, and evolving scientific technologies, and the media environment today is diverse, polycentric, and fragmented. The statement is based on a huge context of the media industry and needs refinement on the concepts he expressed. Therefore, this means that the emergence of social media is highly and closely linked to the hybridity of media. The hybrid nature of media has hugely facilitated the emergence of social media hence social has been able to bring a new dynamic to the hybrid nature of the media industry. Since the start of Twitter in 2007, the term social media has become a huge, major, and hot trend topic on the internet as years go by, social media has matured over the past decades but I believe that social media still has numerous shortcomings that can be explained and analyzed in numerous ways.

The major issue found by Fardouly in research is that majority of women in western society have reached higher levels of body dissatisfaction and the major reasons for this have been linked strongly to the user of social media. A quantitative study that was conducted in 2020, on the teenager’s social media habits in Australia indicated that up to 99% or almost all teenagers reported being social media users and a similar situation was in the United States and Australia (Hawes, Zimmer- Gemback & Cambell, 2020). The theory gives partial evidence of preferences of social media users especially in countries that are developed but it cannot be fully used to define the development of social media as global because the series of the research is based on a particular category of the responses which are young women.

The emergence of social media is a part of a mixed media and social development that has reinvigorated to some extent the media industry which has led to the rapid growth of new media and this has resulted in new anxiety (Natalie, 2009). Mixed social media has created numerous channels for users to produce their content and various platforms that can use to distribute it (Wang, 2016). Additionally, social media has also brought with it a surrounding atmosphere of huge interpersonal comparison plus excessive focus on personal appearances (Hawes, Zimmert- Gemback & Cambell, 2020). It has always been human nature to compare each other, unconsciously or consciously especially in the absence of objective criteria. It has always been easy to compare oneself to other people and this one repositions themselves (Faddoul, Pinkus, &Vartinian, 2017 cited in Festinger, 1954). Many young women compare themselves and this is the main focus of this study. As compared to men, the majority of young women are more much likely to have numerous thoughts about comparing themselves to others in their day-to-day lives (Franzoi et al., 2020). The majority of young women are more inclined to compare themselves to people which are much more attractive than themselves or as compared to them on social media which later makes them develop behaviors and thoughts about fitness and as a result ((Fardouly, Pinkus, &Vartinian, 2017),

However, there is still a huge gap in the existing literature about the impact of social media among young women news consumption habits on their day to day lives and therefore there have been numerous discussions in the previous research and articles about a wide range of effects that the social media has on young women both on the physical level and psychological level. Social media as a huge representative product of the mixed media and the new media can also be much considered to have a negative or positive impact on young women news consumption habits. The majority of young women are more eager as compared to men to share their visual content including personal selfies, videos, photos, etc. to share their personal visual content on social media sites which later makes them feel to experience much more anxiety than the men. However, all this does not cause any reduction in young women motivation and engagement to sharing visual content on social media platforms. (Boursier, Gioia &Griffiths (2020) state that majority of young women are much more enthusiastic about social media use as compared to men of similar age and that yp0oung women spend more time on social media platforms. Additionally, the emergence of the situation can be discussed in numerous ways. On the positive side, social media provide users with openness to the production of content. However, the excessive use of social media and the overdependent on it, has to some extent caused anxiety among young women. They have also recognized their own value during the process of sharing their content which has, in turn, resulted and brought to the psychological satisfaction and new channels of realizing their values even as they earn extra income through traffic and other new opportunities for the development of media industries. Also, it has opened up new opportunities for the development and growth of the media industry.

Nevertheless, the negative aspects cannot be ignored. For instance, accompanying the use of social media abuse plus mental health problems negative impacts can, in turn, be generated hence impacting the development of the mixed media and society generally causing appearance anxiety plus aesthetic distortions on the general public. Social media in general has an underlined tendency of producing content that always favors the idealized female body and appearance such as internet actors, celebrities, and also TV anchors whose appearance is one of the most significant factors that appears on the screen and even through public mobile phones screens. At the same time, it is also a stereotypical and weak pursuit of the women body images which in previous research has focused on both the physical and psychological health of women leaving a gap to be filled in the discussion of women’s rights. This is a gap that could be filled. In conclusion, social media is a form of hybrid media that can distort and influence the perceptions of young women ion their own image to a huge extent hence having an impact on their day to day lives and mental and physical health in both negative and positive ways which is a huge problem that needs to be examined critically.

3.0 Research design

3.1 Aim of the research

The main aim of the research is to discuss the impact of mixed, media on young women’s news consumption habits. The following are the research questions and objectives.

3.2 Research questions

  1. How has the development of new media technologies affected young women through their changing habitual preferences on the use of social media?
  2. How has hybrid media and hybridization of various types of social media taken place in today’s world?
  3. How has social media affected body dissatisfaction and how has it affected young women perceiving their own appearance?
  4. How has the use of social media led to the appearance, anxiety in young women?
  5. How have the habits and changes that exist in young women’s social media use today related to the hybrid development of social media?

3.3 Research objectives

  1. To explore how the development of new media technologies may affect young women through their changing habitual preferences in the use of social media.
  2. To explore the concept of hybrid media as a background to how hybridization of various types of social media platforms is taking place today.
  3. To determine how social media has affected body dissatisfaction and how young women perceive their own appearance.
  4. To determine how the use of social media has led to appearance anxiety in young women.
  5. To analyze the habits and changes that exist in young women’s social media use today relating to the hybrid development of social media.

4.0 Methodology

4.1 Participants and procedure

The recruitment of the participants will be carried out using an advertisement that will be shared on websites that are visited by many young women. The data will be collected through an online survey with the use of a website link where participants will click on to complete the questionnaire. It will entail a total of 15 young women aged 20 to 24 years who will take part in the online questionnaire. Before filling out any questionnaire, the participants will be informed about the aim of the research, the nature of the study, and all the measures that will be used in generating the data. The participation of the participants is voluntary without any remunerative rewards, anonymity, and confidentiality will be assured.

4.2 Methods

The research will make use of the qualitative methodology approach. Questionnaires will be used in collecting data from the participants. The questions of the research will be formed based on the preferences of the strategy of the research. The questionnaires will have both open-ended questions that will be employed to fold up in-depth information for the report organization and provide a complete understanding of the involvement of young women understanding of social media use. The research will use the primary Data collection method because data will be collected from the original concerned and involved party (Young women). To ensure the data collected will be successful, there will be conduction of questionnaires through different social media links such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that will help to get the feedback of the intended party., The questionnaires will be timed to ensure all the participants are involved. The questionnaires are suitable for the research because they are relatively cheap and it’s a methodology that is efficient and quick hence, I will be able to obtain a large amount of information from the young women participating. Additionally, data will be quickly collected because I will not need to be present in the completion of the questionnaires.

4.3 Challenges encountered in accessing the sample

The challenges that can be encountered during the recruitment of the sample are that there will be suffering from associated problems of non-response of the questionnaires and also bias in resultant selections. It may be difficult to reach some of the participants and also the participants can refuse to participate in the research once they have been contacted despite being enrolled. The main factor that can be highlighted to adversely affect the response rate from the participants includes residence, race, and lower family income.

4.4. How to manage the challenges

To manage the challenges, I will do the following while carrying out the research. I will ensure that the questions on the questionnaires are short because simplicity is the key because this may lead to non-response bias since many of the participants may end up not finishing the responses. Additionally, I will also re-examine the distribution and timing method so that it does not interrupt any of the participants time and give them in the best timing the fits their schedule. For the problem of recruiting participants for the study, I will make sure that all the participants are available and are easily accessible and that I reach them on time so that I get assured of those who will be readily available to respond to questions and not at any chance refuse to participate in the study.

This will help me to answer the research question because all participants will be able to answer the questions fully without any of them being left blank. Additionally, using short questions with neutral words will help the participants to have a chance of entering the questions on the questionnaire in as authentic way as possible. Additionally, recruiting people who are available and those who will not at any chance refuse to participate in the questionnaire process will help me to answer the questions because I will be able to gather from them the responses which will be useful and important in entering the research question under study.

4.5 Data analysis

The data that will be collected from the questionnaires will be analyzed using qualitative analysis because the approach will help in answering the questions such as how what and why. The data analysis will involve examining, identifying, and interpreting of the themes and patterns in the textual data that will be collected which will then determine how the themes and patterns will help in answering the research questions. For example, the characteristics and answers that will be collected using questionnaires will appear in narrative form and this will be easier to be analyzed using qualitative analysis. The data will be collected and categorized into qualitative data hence easier to identify the themes.

The qualitative data analysis will help to answer the questions because it will allow me to develop a deep understanding of the emotional connection driving the young women’s behavior towards the use of social media. This will help get a deeper understanding than what could only be obtained through qualitative data analysis alone. The data analysis will also provide valuable data that will help to design and understand the participant’s needs and behaviors.

The sort of knowledge that will be produced from qualitative data analysi8sb that will be used is how social media hybridization has impacted young women’s news habitual behavior and preferences. The analysis will help get a full understanding of how young women have been impacted by social media use. The sorts of knowledge that will be produced from the data analysis is the statistical way and knowledge since the data will be analyzed in textual form. Therefore, it will majorly rely on participants’ perspectives.

5.0 Ethics

The ethical challenges that my research approach raise are situations of dealing with the contradicting issues of different methodological approaches. There can be disagreements amongst various components such as the participants, and the funding body. There can be conflicts with the participants arising from wanting to know what and why the research is being carried out and also having full information of anonymity, confidentiality, and informed consent.

I will manage the ethical challenges by making sure that all the participants have informed consent about the research. For instance, I will inform them about the risks, benefits, and funding beyond the research before they make the decision of agreeing or declining to join or participate in the study. Additionally, anonymity will be put in place by guaranteeing to the participants that no data will be collected personally using their identifications such as phone numbers, names, photos, and email addresses. For the confidentiality challenge, I will ensure that all the rights of the participants to privacy are confidential and I will protect their personal data as long as they are in-store or using it. This might affect my research approach because they will promote the research aims including the expanding of knowledge because they support the values that are needed for collaborative work such as fairness and mutual respect. This will be important because research always depends on the collaboration between participants and the researcher. Additionally, consideration of ethical issues will shape the research findings because the participants will provide clear and precise answers that will be useful in analyzing the data.

6.0 Conclusion

I anticipate that the research will advance our understanding of the topic of the impact of mixed media on young women’s consumption habits. The research will also indicate the intensity of social media use of young girls and the risks that are associated including both negative and positive risks such as appearance anxiety. The study will give a clear implication of hybridization of mixed media and how appearance anxiety has played a significant risk factor in the relationship between young women and the use of social media.

7.0 References

Archer‐Brown, C., Marder, B., Calvard, T. and Kowalski, T., 2018. Hybrid social media: Employees’ use of a boundary‐spanning technology. New Technology, Work and Employment33(1), pp.74-93.

Boursier, V. and Gioia, F., 2020. Women’s pathological narcissism and its relationship with social appearance anxiety: The mediating role of body shame. Clinical Neuropsychiatry: Journal of Treatment Evaluation.

Boursier, V., Gioia, F. and Griffiths, M.D., 2020. Do selfie-expectancies and social appearance anxiety predict adolescents’ problematic social media use?. Computers in Human Behavior110, p.106395.

Chen, Y., Liu, C., Du, Y., Zhang, J., Yu, J., and Xu, H., 2022. Machine learning classification model using Weibo users’ social appearance anxiety. Personality and Individual Differences188, p.111449.

Fardouly, J., Pinkus, R.T. and Vartanian, L.R., 2017. The impact of appearance comparisons made through social media, traditional media, and in person in women’s everyday lives. Body image20, pp.31-39.

Hawes, T., Zimmer-Gembeck, M.J. and Campbell, S.M., 2020. Unique associations of social media use and online appearance preoccupation with depression, anxiety, and appearance rejection sensitivity. Body Image33, pp.66-76.

Laor, T., 2021. ‘Amphibians’: media figures on social networks and traditional media in Israel. Israel Affairs27(3), pp.534-557.

Monro, F. and Huon, G., 2005. Media‐portrayed idealized images, body shame, and appearance anxiety. International Journal of Eating Disorders38(1), pp.85-90.

Zimmer-Gembeck, M.J., Webb, H.J., Farrell, L.J. and Waters, A.M., 2018. Girls’ and boys’ trajectories of appearance anxiety from age 10 to 15 years are associated with earlier maturation and appearance-related teasing. Development and Psychopathology30(1), pp.337-350.


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