Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Applied Communication Theory and Methodology,

Department

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Bracken, Cheryl

Subject Headings

Communication

Abstract

Ephemeral messaging apps such as Snapchat has become a very popular app with young adults. The Snapchat application defined as an instant messaging app that allows its users to take pictures, videos, add a captions, doodles and send the content to a friend or add it to the user’s story. Importantly, “the snaps” will self-destruct after a specified period of time. Further investigation regarding the effects of using ephemeral nature of messaging in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) is explored in the theoretical framework of Hyperpersonal. This study was designed to examine the role of ephemeral nature of messaging in social media settings. Using responses from an online survey regarding Snapchat intensity, Self-Disclosure, Self- Presentation, Social Presence, Self-Destructing Messages and synchronous communication scales were examined. Direct relationships were examined with simple correlation. Finally, a complete model was tested using structural equation modeling. Results demonstrate that Snapchat users mainly share selfies that are mostly taken at home and primarily for communication with close friends and family. Also, results of SEM model indicate that Snapchat intensity was significantly related to Hyperpersonal communication (Walther, 1996). However, it was found that Social Presence, Ephemerality: Self-Destructing Messages scales are positive predictors of Ephemerality: Synchronicity. The findings are seen as an attempt to adapt the framework of Hyperpersonal theory (Walther, 1996). The results of the study will allow the researcher to better understand and measure the Ephemerality: Synchronicity and Hyperpersonal constructs as well as increase researchers understanding of the role of ephemerality nature of messaging in social media platforms.

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