Young adults’ perceptions of the relevance of interaction on social online networks for sports activities

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In our mediatised world, social media has become increasingly
important as a distinct environment for facilitating juvenile developmental
tasks, allowing for communication, self-staging, or information
seeking. Increasing social media activity is often
explicated as displacing participation in sports, although current
studies report rather independent or enhancing relations between
social media use and sports participation. Online social networks
such as Facebook and Instagram constitute a specific social media
application and contain a broad variety of sports-related content,
ranging from visual representations of sports, sharing of training
plans, and recommendations for muscle development, to discussions
about sporting equipment. Nevertheless, the impact of
these contents on sports activities has been largely neglected in
scientific contexts. Against the background of the socialisation
theory and uses and gratifications approach, the aim of this study
is to analyse the users’ perceptions of the relevance of their
sports-related interaction on social networks for sports activities
from a relativist and constructivist grounding. In qualitative interviews
with young adults (n¼10), organisational, motivational,
and professionalising implications of interaction on social networks
were perceived as relevant for participating in sports.
Besides, critical remarks were mentioned, mainly highlighting the
lack of transparency, the poor quality of information, and the
social pressure to play sports.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal for Sport and Society
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07.2020

ID: 5385895

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