Encouraging Reading on Social Media. Exploring Finnish Bookstagram Community
Sammanfattning: In the contemporary digital age, where text-based communication is increasingly significant, literacy skills play a crucial role in effective social participation. However, despite the importance of literacy, a considerable number of people are still illiterate. Today’s digitalization is a new challenge for enhancing literacy rates as technology and social media have been shown to disrupt reading habits and disturb cognitive and intellectual development. Nevertheless, social media has given rise to book communities that remain understudied. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the possible use of social media for promoting reading. To achieve this aim, a qualitative approach was adopted, and Finnish bookstagrammers were interviewed on the factors that motivate them to join Bookstagram and how participation in Bookstagram perceivably affects their reading habits. The findings indicate that the main motivations to join the Finnish Bookstagram community are various possibilities for socialization, Instagram’s affordances for content creation and bookish interests such as finding reading tips and creating a new dimension to a beloved hobby. Additionally, the findings suggest that participating in the Bookstagram potentially increases reading amount, inspires more diverse reading, increases reading engagement through shared reading and increases reading motivation. However, exposure to other people's content was found potentially increase the pressure to read more and lead to negative experiences regarding comparison. Overall, the findings underline the potential of Bookstagram in promoting reading and enhancing literacy, highlighting the need to view social media as a tool for encouraging reading rather than a hindrance.
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