Why don’t we click on some social media posts?

By | October 22, 2020
black hand holding phone, clicking on icons
(Kerde Severin/Pexels)

Why do we click on some social media posts but not on others, even if we’ve taken the time to read and think about them? That’s what researchers at the School of Information asked in a recent study, taking a deeper dive to better understand a concept they coined as the “non-click.”

Their study found that the decision not to click on content was often intentional. Motives included wanting to discourage certain kinds of posting behavior, to evade algorithms learning too much about them or to follow up with posters in other channels.

“What’s new about this piece is that we are really turning our focus to instances where individuals are paying attention and are looking at content and then consciously and deliberately deciding not to click—this is a new approach for the field’s traditional ways of understanding social media use,” said Nicole Ellison, professor of information and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.