“Why did we lose our snapchat streak?”. Social media gamification and metacommunication

Hristova, Dayana, Jovicic, Suzana, Göbl, Barbara, De freitas, Sara and Slunecko, Thomas (2022) “Why did we lose our snapchat streak?”. Social media gamification and metacommunication. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 5 (100172). pp. 1-8. ISSN 2451-9588

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As social media becomes one principal mediator of human interaction around the globe, its features such as gamification both enable and shape user behavior (e.g. enhancing habit formation), communication and relationships. In order to contribute to the understanding of social media and the impact of its gamified features, we conducted in-depth praxeological interviews with high school pupils (aged 14–18, N = 25) which revealed youth's reliance on gamification-related metacommunication. Metacommunication - communication about communication - both illustrates the interplay between gamification and relationships and helps users manage it. More specifically, this paper examines verbal metacommunication revolving around Snapchat Streaks – a highly popular gamified feature that quantifies subsequent days of exchanging snaps (pictures or videos) on the app. Using data from the interviews, we lay out metacommunication connected to the main phases of adolescents' streak practice: initiating a streak, maintaining it and losing it. We discuss how youths metacommunicate: 1) to mitigate potential adverse effects of gamification on their relationships; 2) as a support to their gamification “gameplay”. Ultimately, we use the example of streaks-related metacommunication to discuss how the ever-growing gamification of social media affects interaction and relationships.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: metacommunication, social media, gamification, snapchat, metagaming
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Science & Technology
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 10:45
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2023 10:45
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2901

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