Social media’s revolving door research: Dr. Sophie Janicke-Bowles

Dr. Sophie Janicke-Bowles has dedicated much of her research to the effects traditional media has on the formation of a person’s disposition. She has over 15 published works that focus on, more specifically, the outcome of positive psychology from her research through new communication technologies, media and spirituality. During our interview, Dr. Janicke presents hardy cognizance on her journey producing the article our group decided to analyze (Janicke, S. H., Narayan, A., & Seng, A. (2018). Social Media for Good? A Survey on Millennials’ Inspirational Social Media Use.The Journal of Social Media in Society, 7(2), 120-140) and learn from in order to move forward with our research paper. She delved into how a research process works, who decides the direction of the research being conducted, and the structure of the research team that allows for the final print. She was very insightful to all of our questions and provided good key points to ideas that we had for our paper. 

Dr. Sophia H. Janicke-Bowles citation analysis from 2013-2020, 2019 being her most cited year.


During our research on her aforementioned article and interview with Dr. Janicke, she explained that the dissertation we were doing our analysis can easily be redone as information is always changing. In this case, the groundwork her team had conducted is interchangeable with the new and exclusive technology released on a daily basis. Social media consumption by the millennial generation data is constantly changing so any research done on this topic’s behalf is subject to change at all times. Dr. Janicke expressed that there were some limitations to her research as #1, being able to record personality traits that would have an effect on whether or not one of the samples would further consume updated media content and would have consequential effects. #2 being the size of the subsample being recorded for their research being small and centralized to one area (One university, in one state in the United States).

When asking further questions about her experiences during her research, she explained that there are a variety of explanatory factors. In the instance of this article, some of these cases included the specificity of the role online videos play in in predicting the outcomes of differing personality traits rather than if reading a variety of posts would have the same effect. Since social media encompasses all aspects of the internet, it is hard to control the data you collect on any one point. 

During the discussion with Dr. Janicke, she had discussed the positive and negative effects of social media and mental health. One of the positive effects that stood out to Dr. Janicke comes from social support and having the ability to network with others. She went on to describe how we can share information with social media and the benefits of being capable of contacting someone, even in the middle of the night. If people see news from social media, this can be very helpful to spread information at a larger scale. Furthermore, Dr. Janicke discussed what she believes is the biggest negative effect social media has on mental health. She explained that depression and anxiety are two complex factors that social media brings to mental health. They are very complex due to the different ways individuals can become anxious or saddened. The way an individual’s personality is or the way they use social media can lead to different levels of anxiety or depression. Nevertheless, Dr. Janicke ends this part of the discussion by bringing both the positive and negative aspects together. She says that the effect social media will have on an individual will vary person to person. Everyone has different types of personality traits, interests, and methods when it comes to social media. People Therefore, it depends on a variety of factors whether an individual will have positive or negative effects on their mental health when using social media.

Dr. Janicke also discussed whether social media itself was enough to bring all of things together into one cumulative answer. She explained that research always goes by different definitions. Social media itself is somewhere different than social networking sites, they had some similar points but some different points. We cannot just randomly decide whether social media could include all of this information or not, it depends on the theoretical framework people are using to answer the questions of what platform people are investigating. People should go more specific on each category to decide whether social media could include those information or not. For example, social media is mostly the platform for broadcasting information, people can publish the news and things around them to share with the others. Social networking is kind of like a communication tool, it can also be determined as Internet-based social media sites to communicate with the people. People can stay connected with friends, family members, and colleagues. Also they can meet new people on social networking, because the communication is two-way, and people can make friends by talking to each other.

All in all, the interview of Dr. Janicke gave us so much information that we need. The most important part is that people in social media had their own personality, and it really decided whether social media gave them positive effect or negative effect. Most people get the news from social media which is very important to them because social media allowed them to share things that happened around themselves. At the same time, social media can also give people a negative effect which is depression and anxiety. The research of social media can continue in depth but needs to narrow it down to specific problems to make it better.

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