Is media richness theory still applicable on social media?

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Media capacity plays a significant role in effective and accurate communication. Then whether the social media meets the criteria of media capacity or not?

Firstly, Social media is a medium that combines various types of information, such as text, photo, video, emoji. The audience can have an accurate and complete understanding of the messages through different perceptions of information. Therefore, social media can help to increase the richness of media and reduce the ambiguity of communication.

Secondly, the most representative feature of social media is the interactiveness. The audience is no longer merely the receiver of information. Users are able to send immediate responses to each other. This rapid interactions provide an effective communication environment.

Finally, the creation and development of social media is always revolving around people. And all the communications become more personalized and user-friendly, which can facilitate better understandings between people.

However, social media may increase noises that hinder effective communication. For instance, massive comments on a news post may affect people’s own judgments on the authenticity and objectivity of the article. In addition, the use of multiple media just captures sections of the reality, which may lead to people’s unilateral understandings of an event.

I hope the elected officials could make more effective use of social media reinforce the interactions with their followers. The officials should respect all the voices of people and facilitate the free exchange of ideas. One-sided and dominant communication is no longer applicable.



Kessler, E. H. (2013). Encyclopedia of Management Theory. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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7 thoughts on “Is media richness theory still applicable on social media?

  1. I really like that you talked about what social media actually is. I think establishing a working definition is always super important when discussing an opinion. I also like that you related it to the current administration’s use of social media. It made the article more relevant.

  2. Great point about social media being a human-to-human interaction. Puts the concept of “media” into perspective – we always think of media as video, online content, etc., but this brings it back to our “social media in real life” assignment. Nice post!

  3. I see that you tried to present both the strengths and the weaknesses of social media and they seem to be valid! But I think it would have been better to talk a bit more about the potential negative aspects of social media in conveying messages to balance your article! I only see a single paragraph which argues about the possible negative effects of social media with respect to the bias-wise matters while you have three paragraphs about the positive potential of social media! Let me know what you think about my idea! This is just my thoughts and hope my comments did not offend you at all! Overall, I really liked your analysis:)

  4. Social media has definitely allowed for more voices on an issue, and though it has created more noise, I think it allows for less nonsense to be accepted. With the increases validity and trust social media has gained, peoples opinion have more weight when it is widely agreed upon among peers and can cause more change, and if not that, can at least open conversation on issues that may not have been talked about. Great piece!

  5. I really liked how you summarized everything up in that last paragraph: “The officials should respect all the voices of people and facilitate the free exchange of ideas.” I think this is really important for elected officials to remember, especially with how controversial and aggravated things are in America right now.

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