Introduction Background of the studyTheinternet is taking over the society nowadays. Everyone loves to surf theinternet and seeking it as basic needs in their lives. People uses social mediato share their life and also share photos or stories. Accordingto Greitemeyer and Kunz (2013), Facebook which is the most popular social media has 1 billion active users, with anaverage of 552 million users logging into the social media per day.
People uses Facebook to create apersonal profile and posting photos or statuses to share their lifestyle,knowledge or emotions. Besides Facebook, there are also popular social mediaplatforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and more which also couldallow people to share their content. Social media is a popular venue for both self-presentation andcommunication. According to Seidman and Miller (2013), howpeople view the information in a social media profile, and how their attentionto the profiles are affected by physical attractiveness and appearances of theprofile owner. Specific details of a profile can affect theimpressions of the profile owner, including description written or videos andphotographs that posted in the profile. According to Greitemeyerand Kunz (2013), social media is used to view the effects ofinterpersonal attraction from their physical attractiveness or profile names.The profile names and physical attractiveness are shown to be associated withhow people judge and behave towards the profile owner.
This is why people are puttingeffort in arranging their social media profile and post pretty photos orbetter-looking content to create good impression of themselves. Furthermore,people would try a lot of ways just to gain more attention on social mediaincluding taking prettier pictures of themselves or create interesting contentto attract attention. Social media is getting more popular and it could reachto a lot of people. For now, it could be obviously seen that people with betterphysical appearance including body shape or pretty faces gain more fame andattention on social media.
Social media content creators also used people witha sexy appearance as thumbnail to attract audience on their content. In fact,Seidman and Miller (2013) suggested that physical appearance may be the mostimportant element of first impressions. Therefore, the physical attractivenessof the profile owner should play a significant role in attention gave todifferent features of the profile. Significance of the study This research will understand how people view socialmedia content based on physical appearances of the profile owners. Understandhow physical appearance could affect the attention attracted on social media.
As today, people who is famous on social media are mostly because of thegood-looking appearance. Physical attractiveness of the profile owner played animportant role in attention gave to the profile. Hypothesis 1: People who has better physical appearance could gain moreattention and fame on social media. To understand the reason why physical appearances isimportant on gaining attention, it’s important to study people’s perspective ongood physical appearances. This is because people have their differentperspective on the attractiveness of an individual.
People have different thoughtson a good physical appearance. It could be just a good-looking face, a goodbody shape or maybe both. However, people are still more likely to be attractedby people who has better physical appearance no matter which gender. Thisresearch attempts to show the effects of attraction on social media byincluding the elements of physical appearance. Hypothesis 2: People are more likely to be attracted by people who has abetter physical appearance.
Purpose Statement This study aims to find out why people with good physicalappearances could affect the attention gained on social media. This researchalso aims to find out the perspectives of young people from age between 15 to25. Young people are the most active on social media and their perspective isvery suitable for our findings in this research. Research Questions 1) How does physical appearance affect attentionon social media? 2) Why physical appearance can affect attentionon social media? LiteratureReview According to Seidman and Miller (2013), peopletend to pay more attention to the physical appearance which is the main profilephotograph of a female than male profile owners. However, people pay moreattention to the personal information for example likes and interests of a malethan female profile owners. For the profiles of unattractive individuals, theyfocused more on information that was not relevant to form an impression of theprofile owner such as advertisements.
They are putting more effort to learnabout these unattractive individuals. Thisis because areas with texts used a large proportion of the profile areacompared to the picture areas. Besides that, forming an impression is thebackground of the current study, and the text areas were needed in this task.Hence, it shows that viewers examine the profile photograph briefly to judgethe physical attractiveness and gender of the profile owner. They spend moretime reading the information of the profile owners to try forming an impression.
Sexual interest towards the profiles of attractiveindividuals is reasonable but not expected from the perceivers because thebackground of the study was not romantic. The participants have not expectationon meeting the profile owners. This research shows that people will beattracted by the appearance of the good looking individual to form animpression. However, people will focus on other information which is notrelevant to form an impression of the unattractive individual, more effort isneeded to learn about the unattractive individuals.
Profile owners felt less socially attractive whencomments that are other-generated were different with the self-presentation ofthe profile owner. It cannot be successful without acceptance from others nomatter how they package themselves with exaggerated self-presentations. Having more social interaction inprofile pictures does positively affects popularity and social attractiveness.If there are negative comments, people judge the profile owners as less attractiveand thinks that the profile owners have less friends on social media.
This isbecause people base their impressions towards the profile owners not just onself-presentations but also on other people’s feedback about them. The findings show that social media user’s awarenessof controlling self-presentations online is very easy. However, they tend torely more on other-generated content that are seems to be more difficult tocontrol. People tend to rely more oninformation that are other-generated than self-generated while formingimpressions. To achieve a positive self-presentation, being aware ofother-generated information is more important.
Besides physical appearances,other-generated information does affect the attraction on social media. This research shows that other generated information will affect theimpression of the individual no matter the physical appearance. (Hong, Tandoc,Kim, Kim & Wise, 2012) Aresearch by Greitemeyerand Kunz (2013) stated that friendship requests of users who haspositive names and who are physically attractive are more likely to be acceptfrom other social media users. As a matter of fact, both names and physicalattractiveness does affects friendship acceptance on social media like Facebooketc. This is why people arrange the details of their social media profilesincluding a proper name to create good impression. Moreover, results revealedthat name-valence can be replaced or recovered by physical attractiveness.Requests from users with positive names but moderately attractive and requestsfrom users with negative names but attractive did not significantly differentfrom people with positive names and attractive on acceptance rates. There areboth negative and positive implications in their findings.
On the negativeside, people who has a negative name and not physically attractive aredisadvantaged. However, on the positive side, it appears that the negativeeffects of one can be helped and improved by the other. Besides on having agood physical appearance, the tidiness of the details in the profile forexample names could also affect the attention gained on social media. According to Jaschinski & Kommers (2012),there is a direct positive impact on the social attractiveness of the target ontheir friend’s attractiveness. The friend’s attractiveness of the target usercould affect the popularity and attention gained on social media. The persontends to be more likeable and seen as a potential friend when he has friendswho are good-looking. The gender of the target user and the gender of theirfriends is not a significant element of this relationship. However, thefriend’s gender could create a main influence towards the target user.
This isbecause physical attractiveness of others can be carried over to a target userwho is related with this person’s. Visual cues can support the impressionmaking process, it does not matter if the cues are provided by the targethimself or by his friends that are related. There is no significantrelationship between profile owner’s gender and friend’s physicalattractiveness. This caused the prediction of the attractiveness stereotypewhich is female profile owners are more attractive than male profile ownerswere not supported. However, men are more likely to like a stranger on Facebookand consider them as a potential friend than women no matter their gender andphysical appearances. This is because women are more concerned about theprivacy issues. Men are usually more opened up to strangers on social mediaplatforms. This could explain that the significant main effect of theperceiver’s gender on social attractiveness according to the research.
Friendscould also be one of the elements to gain fame and attraction on social media. A research by Amon, M. (2015)stated that in groups with mixed gender, womenwere viewed longer periods of time and more often than men. Besides that,observers are more likely to look at women first and last.
Men spent more timepaying attention on pictures of women when there are fewer women in the group.But there is an opposite effect for women, women viewed less on pictures of menwhen there are lesser pictures of men in the group. Compared to male observers,female observers spent more time looking at men.
Men’spreference for looking at women was magnified when women were the minority.Male observers also do spend more time looking at women compared to femaleobservers. However, in overall, both female and male observers were looking atwomen more than men. As stated clearly, women’s appearance does gain moreattention and interest than men in mixed-gender social groups.
Doesn’t matterof the amount pictures showed, people who observed are using almost same theamount of time paying attention to pictures of people than the empty screenspace. This research shows that men and women had a nearly same baselineinterest in viewing other people, this shows difference with previous findingsthat women used more eye contact on social interactions including gaze. Methodology Method Quantitative method isused to answer the research questions. A survey will be created online anddistributed to young people aged between 15-25 who are active on social mediaplatforms. This survey is divided into two sections. The first section will befocused on the participant’s perspective on physical appearances on socialmedia. The second section will ask about participant’s knowledge on “clickbait” in social media.
Click bait is an eye-catching link or thumbnail on a website orvideos which encourages people to read on. It is often paid for by theadvertiser or generates income based on the number of clicks. (“clickbait”, 2017)Procedures An online questionnaire will be created usingGoogle Forms, which is an online platform for surveys. Questions are to beanswered privately which the participant’s details and information includingname and contact number is not required.
The questions are created according tothe research questions. The questions must be relatable with the research topicand the findings of this research. The data will also be collected and analyzedby Google Forms. After the survey questionnaires are prepared, it will berandomly given out to approximately 75 participants from any gender. The numberof participant’s gender is not required to be equal. Findings and Discussion Results There is a total of 75 participants took thesurvey.
Participants demographic data is categorized under gender, age range,average time spent on internet, most used social media platforms and sexualpreference (not compulsory). There are 51 females (68%)and 24 males (32%) took part in this survey. Participant’s majority age rangedbetween 18 to 20 (74.7%) with a total of 56 participants.
The second largestage group is between 15 to 17 (21.3%) with a total of 16 participants. Followedby the least age group 21 and above (4%) with a total of 3 participants.Majority of the participants (60%) spend 5 hours and above on the internet perday on average which consists of 45 participants.
Followed by 27 participants(36%) who spend approximately 2 to 4 hours on the internet per day on average.There are very few participants who spend lesser time which is around 30minutes and 1 hour on the internet per day, it consists of 3 participants. (4%) The top 5 most usedsocial media platforms form the participants are Snapchat (85.3%), Instagram(80%), YouTube (73.3%), Chatting apps (WhatsApp, WeChat etc.) (69.3%) andFacebook (57.3%).
Other social media platforms like Twitter (33.3%), Tumblr(1.3%), Spotify (1.3%) and more is not very popular between the participants. Consistent withHypothesis 1, 30 participants (40%) strongly agrees and 34 participants (45.3%)agrees that people with a better physical appearance could gain more attentionand fame on social media. Participants in this research are very active onsocial media.
This shows that good-looking people or people who has goodphysical appearance does gaining a lot of attention on social media at thismoment. Also, consistent withHypothesis 1, 32 participants (42.7%) agrees and 18 participants (24%) stronglyagrees that people could gain more attention with showing more of their skin ora sexy appearance on social media. Hence, most of the participants (49.4%)agrees and strongly agrees that gaining fame and attention can be succeed withonly a better physical appearance and good-looking face. This shows that sexyappearance is used on social media and good physical appearance does help togain fame and attention on social media effectively. The results from the datacollected does fulfill Hypothesis 1 clearly.
Consistent withHypothesis 2, majority of the participants (50.7%) agrees or strongly agreesthat they are attracted to people who has better physical appearance, followedby 30 participants (40%) chose average. A total of 39 participants (52%) agreesand strongly agrees that they will follow and keeping up with people who hasbetter physical appearances on social media. This results shows that peopledoes attracted to people who has good physical appearance and willing tokeeping up or follow their statuses or posts on social media.
However, thereare still people who stays neutral. For the results fromsection 2, Majority of the participants (72%) which consists of 54 people sawthe most “clickbait” on YouTube videos, followed by Facebook (42.7%) andInstagram (33.3%). This shows that “clickbait” are mostly used at social mediaplatforms that has more videos posted like YouTube or Facebook. This means that”clickbait” are mostly used on videos for gaining attention on social media. Also, consistent withHypothesis 2, most of the participants (57.
3%) does attracted by the”clickbait” and clicked in to the content. Which 41 of the participants(54.67%) agrees that the most common “clickbait” seen are with people who showna lot of skin on thumbnails and uses sexual words or photos as title onthumbnail.
However, 46 participants (61.3%) chose interesting content used astitle and thumbnail is the most common clickbait they have seen. The results fromthe data collected also does fulfill Hypothesis 2 well. Discussion RQ1: How does physicalappearances affects attention on social media? This research makesseveral contributions. It shows that people does arrange their social media profileswell to gain attention on social media. It also includes using physicalappearances to attract audience.
According to Greitemeyerand Kunz (2013), people with a proper name and good physical appearances doescreate good impression to the audience and increase their attractiveness.People who are not physical attractive are more on the negative side and can’tgain attention as much as people who has good physical appearance. Because ofhaving physical appearance like showing more skin or a sexual appearance doesattract more attention, people started to use “click bait” which is an eye-catching link orthumbnail on a website or videos which encourages people to read on. It is oftenpaid for by the advertiser or generates income based on the number of clicks. (“clickbait”, 2017) Inthis research, it is found that people are really using their physicalappearances to attract audience on social media. They use it through thumbnailsor posting a photo with a good physical appearance on their social media.
Some people would show more of their skin to show a sexy appearance to theaudience for attention. The most common “clickbait” thatseen on social media also includes people who shown a lot of skin on thumbnails and uses sexual words orphotos as title on thumbnail. It is reasonable tofind out that people are mostly attracted by the “clickbait” and clicked intothe content because of the physical appearances shown. Most of the “clickbait”are usually girls with a good physical appearance or sexy appearance. Accordingto Amon, M. (2015), both female and male observers were looking at womenmore than men in overall. So, women’s appearance does gain more attention andinterest than men in mixed-gender social groups.
It concludes that people usedpeople who has good physicalappearance or sexy appearance which are mostly women as “clickbait” to attractattention. People also post pictures of themselves with a good physicalappearance to gain attention on social media. RQ2: Why physical appearance can affect attention on socialmedia? Since there is a solidevidence that people who has better physical appearance could gain moreattention and fame on social media, this research also discussed about peopleare more likely to be attracted by people who has a better physical appearance.Hence, the reason why physical appearance can affect attention on social mediais because people does more likely to be attracted by people who has a betterphysical appearance. The findings of this research showed that people agreedthat being good looking and has a better physical appearance does gainattention and fame on social media. People also agreed that showing more skinand has a sexy appearance could attract attention effectively, which is used bymost of the “clickbait” on social media. Most people also admitted that theyare attracted to people who has better physical appearance and willing tofollow them on social media and keeping up with their posts or statuses.
According to Seidman and Miller (2013), peopletend to pay more attention to people who are attractive and has a better physicalappearance. It concludes that people really does attracted by people who has abetter physical appearance, and this is why physical appearance can affect theattention gained on social media. Conclusion,Limitation and Suggestion Conclusion In conclusion, physical appearances do affects attentiongained on social media. Physical appearances could be an important factor foraudience attraction in social media and people are using it frequently as a”tool” to gain attention. The reason of why physical appearances affects attentionon social media is because people with good physical appearances could form agood impression to the audience. (Seidman and Miller, 2013)Moreover, Greitemeyer and Kunz (2013) stated that there arepositive effects towards acceptance rates for people who has good physicalappearances and good impression on social media. Based on the findings of thisresearch, audience are also willing to keep up with people who they have goodimpression with on social media.Limitation Thelimitation of the research must be clarified clearly.
Firstly, the participantsof this research have their own perspective of a good physical appearance.Everyone has their own taste of a good-looking person, and this caused thatsome people might think the person is good looking but others didn’t. This doesn’taffect the statistics of the results but the difference might be more obviousin real life. As in some people would follow their own perspective of a goodphysical appearance and this shows some slightly different findings.
Furthermore,the data of this research may be affected by people who is not well known aboutsome information in social media. Although the participants are mostly youngpeople who are active on social media, but there are also some people who arenot active on other social media platforms or didn’t know about the informationlike “clickbait”. These participants have less knowledge about social media sothe findings might be slightly affected by them.
Lastly,the results and findings of this research doesn’t represent every other peoplewho uses social media in this world. There are only 75 of the participants inthis research and it is limited to the friendship circle of the researcher.Hence, the results and findings can’t be seen or generalized as all people thatare using social media in this whole world. Suggestion According the findings in this research,it shows that physical appearances really does affects attention on socialmedia. Hence, the gender of the people with good physical appearances isimportant to be considered by future studies. This could get different resultsas participants has different sexual preferences or there are differences onthe appeal of each gender.
A good-looking female might be more attractive orless attractive than a good-looking male. Besides,further research on how and why people are attracted in people with goodphysical appearance would be interesting. Not just on social media but whypeople are attracted to good looking individuals in real life. Hence, physicalappearances of a person could find out the way impression formed towards theindividual.
This study could help more future researches in social psychologyarea.