While both of our theories are highly rooted in psychology and how we interact with social media, there are some key differences between the two.
Dependency is similar to uses-and-gratification in that we gain something by using the media that fulfills a need. However, dependency takes us down a different path by saying all of our media usage is not equal and when certain situations occur we may use one media differently and more often for a time being until it is no longer a top-of-mind need. Then, the usage goes down and the user goes on with their “normal” habits. This is still prevalent today when something out of our control directly influences us as an individual or the community as a whole where you will see a certain type of social media being used more often than it was prior to that event.
Altercasting, on the other hand, is a persuasion tactic that involves forcing people into a particular social role so that they will be inclined to behave according to that role. In social media it is still widely used by both individuals and corporations in order to attain a varied array of goals.