Gendered Spaces: Examining Woman’s Online Well-being and Relationship Maintenance Patterns
Although there exists abundant literature on the potential benefits of using social networking sites (SNSs), there is still a significant gap regarding the potential gendered effects of SNSs. Attempting to address this need, this study seeks to contribute to the understanding of mediated environment’s impact on emotional well-being and relationship maintenance patterns among women. In order to understand women’s social behaviours in a male-dominated space, as is cyberspace, muted group theory and frameworks for uncertainty management were adopted as theoretical bases for data collection and analysis. After conducting a cross-sectional survey study (N = 341), data analysis using a series of ANOVAs indicated females put forth more effort to maintain online relationships than males (F(1, 338) = 5.09, p = .025). Additionally, the results of MANOVA suggest that there is significant variance by gender on SNS-related components (F(3, 336) = 3.90, p = .009) with female Facebook users having higher level of perceived stress (Mdiff = -1.42, SE = 0.65, p = .031) and lower self-disclosure (Mdiff = -2.38, SE = 1.04, p = .023) than males. The study highlights the effects of women’s online experiences on well-being and expands the understanding of emotional reactions to mediated interactions.