Social Media

By Kirsten J. Barnes

Center for Community-Based Partnerships

Social media is a fascination for Mohamed Elmie Bin Nekmat. Therefore, conducting research related to the impact of social media on society was a natural fit for the Communication and Information Sciences doctoral student.

"I feel that more needs to be done in understanding the role of communication technologies, particularly the socialness embedded in these technologies, toward bringing social change," said Nekmat, a native of Singapore.

Using undergraduate students at The University of Alabama, his research studied how students perceived and received social media messages and what caused them to react or resend these messages.

"In order for someone to think and learn about campaign messages from others in social media, it is not enough for one to just read the messages received," Nekmat said. "He or she needs to reformulate the message and resend the messages to others."

Furthermore, his research uncovered implications on how some messages cause people to act, but not the way intended by the campaign.

"Unfortunately, I found that the messages they resend to others may not necessarily be positive," he said. "In the case of an anti-drunk driving campaign, they included sarcastic and cynical messages."