Strategic Social Grooming: Emergent Social Grooming Styles on Facebook, Social Capital and Well-Being
Jih-Hsuan Tammy Lin
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Social Grooming Style, Facebook, Social Capital, Well-Being, Signaling Theory, Social Network Sites (SNSs).
Social grooming behaviors on social media contribute to one’s social capital and well-being. This study considered common types of social interactions on social media and proposes a social grooming style framework developed through signaling theory. Unlike the previous research, which has examined a single type of social grooming behavior, this study examined many behaviors simultaneously to identify a social grooming style. With a nationally representative sample from Taiwan (N = 1,350), a latent class analysis (LCA) revealed five social grooming styles: image managers, social butterflies, trend followers, maintainers, and lurkers. Social grooming style is significantly associated with social capital and well-being. Image managers receive the most social benefits, whereas lurkers receive the fewest. Social butterflies have considerable bridging social capital and well-being but the least bonding social capital. The results suggest that the rich may get richer, but only if the engaged social grooming style is strategic.