Social Media Usage, Physical Activity, Social Physique Anxiety, and Self-Presentation in Exercise Amongst Women: A One-Week Screen-Time Data Tracking Study

Ciara McColgan, Kyle Paradis

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Abstract

e purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect that social media usage may have on social physique anxiety, and self-presentation in exercise. Specifically, the main research questions answered were whether overall social media usage (total time per week spent across individual social media platforms), online usage tendencies (observer or contributor), age cohort (18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39), and/or physical activity levels (active or inactive), influenced perceptions of social physique anxiety and self-presentation in exercise among women. A total of 214 women between 18-39 years of age were recruited. A final usable sample of 155 women was retained who tracked their online social media usage tendencies for one week using a screen-time app (MyPhoneTime) and completed online surveys which measured social physique anxiety, self-presentation in exercise. Participants provided social media screen-time data tracking which indicated time and type of social media platforms used. Overall, Instagram was the most used platform for those 18-29 years old, while Facebook was the most used platform for those 30-39 years old, and Twitter was the least used platform across all age groups. Further breakdowns revealed Facebook was most used by those 30-34 years old, Instagram and Twitter were most used by those 25-29 years old, and TikTok and Snapchat were most used by those 18-24 years old. The findings revealed that there were no significant relationships between overall social media usage time, social physique anxiety, impression motivation, and impression construction dimensions of self-presentation in exercise. However, increased Twitter usage was related to increased scores in the impression motivation dimension of self-presentation. In addition, those who were more physically active also had increased impression motivation scores for self-presentation. This was most prevalent with those 18-24 years old.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Media in Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • social media
  • screen-time
  • self-presentation
  • social physique anxiety
  • exercise
  • physical activity

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