The performance of social media platforms during the month of July

This is how we are affected by alarming news in push notes

Many use push notifications but few click on the news

Many use push notifications but few click on the news
Those who receive the least information about a dramatic event are those who express the most concern and have the greatest need to communicate about the event. This is evident from two research reports from the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg, JMG

Sweden is one of the world’s most connected countries. About 90 percent of the population over twelve years has access to a smart mobile. Potentially, therefore, most of the population has the opportunity to receive push notifications. The most common reason for using push notifications is to gain awareness of alarms and warnings, according to studies from JMG.

Alarming news that is inaccurate:
One point of departure for the study is that the editorial staff of Krisinformation.se often sees examples of alarming news, such as bomb threats, which are widely disseminated but which are later faded down. The news about how things really are is usually given less space. A great news immediately reaches many people through various digital media.

Prior to digitization, an event was often clarified when it was reported in newspapers or in the media. Then the news got its right proportion, for example: "False alarm closed the departure hall for two hours". A note at its height, which many may not even be aware of.

Small events are perceived as threats:
When the media publishes continuously, around the clock, it is easy for even small events to be perceived as major threats. If millions of people receive a push note in their phone that an airport was closed due to bomb threats, that information will remain in the consciousness because the follow-up is not given as much attention if it proves to be a false alarm.

How does an increasing frequency of alarming news affect the general fear of accidents and terrorism? How many get an exaggerated picture of how many serious events really are happening? Or can the effect even be the opposite, that too many alarms have the effect of being blunted and not responding to yet another alarming news?

Experimental study maps concern:
As part of the research on alarming news, the researchers at JMG conducted a so-called experimental survey.

Three groups of 616 to 660 people received various information about an imaginary dramatic event. This is to investigate how little and fragmentary information elicits emotional reactions other than information that is more complete and coherent.

Experiment group 1 only received a push note that a high school in the central city was exposed to a bomb threat, and that the police evacuated and set up barricades. Experiment group 2 was given the same push note but also another push note where it was found that the suspected bomb was a harmless object and that the police lifted the barricades.

The third experimental group received a slightly longer news note summarizing what had happened earlier in the day and also announced that the schoolchildren’s parents had been notified and that the police had launched a preliminary investigation.

Group 1 most emotionally affected:
When the participants read the news, they had to answer questions about how the bomb threat would affect them emotionally. They also answered questions about how likely it was that they would have communicated with others about the bomb threat, over the phone, social media or chat for example. The analysis shows that experimental group 1 was most emotionally affected by the three groups.

Participants also answered questions if they were worried about a number of other dangers. Both for their own sake and for society at large.

The inventive news that was included in the experiment had no effect on the participants’ more lasting feelings of concern. It is likely that repeated impact over a long period of time is required for media content to help elicit this type of deeper emotion.

Thus, a single event need not affect an individual’s sense of concern, for their own or others’ part. But it cannot be ruled out that in the long run, unrest can increase if the number of alarming news increases.

Clear differences in the need to communicate:
The studies showed more clear differences between how the three experimental groups would act.

Experiment group 1, which received least information about the event, stated to a greater extent than the other groups that they would talk on the phone, send sms and mms and chat with others about the event.

We are therefore more likely to pass on and discuss information about ongoing events than about those we know have ended, without anything serious happening.

Increasing alarming news:

The word search analysis that was done for the study shows a clear increase in the signal words warning, alarm, risk and threat in the news. In addition, there seems to be a connection between increasing numbers of alarming news and the introduction of push notices. The increase is most evident after 2012, during the years when a majority of Sweden’s largest news media introduced push notices.

Alarms and warnings are most important:

The follow-up report, News pushnotiser - users and use in Sweden, is based on a survey that was answered by 1,772 people. Of these, 40 percent reported using push notifications daily. Most people do not use push notifications every day.

In the survey, participants were asked questions about how important it was to take note of different types of notices. Alarms and warnings thought 90 percent were important and 74 percent thought that news of big unexpected news was important, while interest in general news updates in the push notes was significantly less (38 percent thought it was important).

Participants were also asked how often they moved on from the push note to read more. The most common response (44%) was sometimes to do so. Almost a third state that they do it often and only 2 percent say they always do. Almost every sixth clicks on once in a while, and every tenth never does. A total of 26 percent of those using news notes are satisfied with the sparse information in the push note.

Source: Krisinformation.se

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