Audiences’ Response to Emotional Expression on Facebook

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Journal of Media, Communication & Languages


The advent of social media has provided an opportunity for users to express emotional messages of different kinds. Audiences on their part react to these emotional messages depending on the feeling expressed. Against this backdrop, a study was undertaken on the kinds of emotional messages people express on the social media platforms with close reference to Facebook, and responses elicited from audiences. Anchored on social sharing theory, the study adopted textual analysis as method of study. Population of the study was emotional messages on Facebook from which a sample was purposely drawn between June and August, 2017. These messages were descriptively analysed. Findings show a relative high preponderance of emotional messages with feelings of sorrow or grief that attract corresponding reactions with soothing tone, and that some reactions demonstrate a lack of understanding of some messages posted. The study concludes that from the pattern of messages, emotional posts with sorrowful undertone also attract high responses unlike messages with feelings of optimism, and fulfilment. The study recommends among other things that audience should understand the meaning of any emotional messages users post before they react to such messages.



Social media, Audiences, Facebook, Emotional expression