Location-based social media use in families : Qualitative outcomes from participant observations



Publication Details

Fusco, S. Jean., Michael, K., Michael, M. G. & Abbas, R. (2018). Location-based social media use in families : Qualitative outcomes from participant observations. In M. Cunningham & P. Cunningham (Eds.), IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS 2018) (pp. 139-149). United States: IEEE.


This paper is about location-based social media use within families. An experiment was devised to study different family relationships and dynamics with respect to the use and application of location-based social media services. The methodology applied was two-fold: (1) an experiment using Google Latitude, a location social media app; and (2) semi-structured interviews. The data from the study is analyzed using qualitative analysis and compares the responses between siblings with that of parent-child relationship. The results of the study raise issues about (1) use and experience; (2) the disclosure of location; and (3) and the power to view location information. In the discussion uses and benefits of this technology are presented, as well as negative issues, trust and control factors. The main finding of the study is that location-based social media use while very beneficial in families has the propensity to propagate a power asymmetry, one individual over the other, although this power is not always displayed explicitly. While location-based social media is about »sharing» one's location, the sharing is not always equitable, nor is it bidirectional.

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