Upon completion of each messaging condition, participants completed a questionnaire regarding their social interactions with the other members of the study group. Questionnaire items were similar to those used in previous work (Counts and Fellheimer 2004; Markopoulos et al. 2004), with key concepts including sense of connectedness and ability to share experiences. Table 1 shows all items, as well as mean responses for messaging condition and p-values reflecting significant improvements when messaging group-wide in most cases. Demonstrating the connection between social goals and the more playful side of leisure, participants reported communicating with their phones to be significantly more fun in the group condition. All items were 7-point Likert scale questions, and statistical comparisons made with standard 2-tailed within subjects t-tests1.
Easy to Communicate w/Others
Feel Connected to Others
Up to Date in Other’s Lives
Satisfied with Friendships
Group is Cohesive
Am Member of Community
Share My Experiences
Mobile Communication is Fun
Table 1: Mean questionnaire responses
The questionnaire also asked for self-reports on how often participants saw one, and two or more, other member(s) of the study group in person, and how easy it was to coordinate face-to-face meetings in both cases. For both meeting one (MG = 5.96 self-reported instances, MO = 5.70, ns.) and two or more other group members (MG = 5.09, MO = 5.14, ns.), participants reported similar numbers of face-to-face meetings. It was, however, significantly easier to coordinate meeting two or more people when messaging group-wide (MG = 6.05, MO = 5.24, p <.05).
3.2.3 Qualitative Feedback and Message Content
In addition to the usage and questionnaire scale data, participants provided qualitative feedback both on the questionnaires and in round-table discussion sections at the conclusion of the study. This free-form feedback, along with an examination of message content, was useful for articulating the different ways the group-based messaging impacted participant’s social interactions.
1 These were also run using the Wilcoxon non-parametric test with no meaningful change to the results.