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Communication Avoidance on Social Media

After attending all the lectures for BCM312, week two’s lecture still stood out to me the most. The concept of communication avoidance fascinated me from the aspects of silence being a form of communication like the one-minute silence we give on Anzac day to about how much less social we have become as a society over the last couple of years especially with covid and social media being one of the key ways stayed connected. It also made me reflect on myself and how I truly do prefer to text rather than call often especially if it’s a confrontational conversation. I feel that the significance of this topic is very relevant, and I wanted to find out more about it.

I decided to go with “To discover why do people avoid communication on social media?”. I think that this topic allows me to focus on ‘why’ people chose to avoid specific communication platforms and content. 

I found this topic quite personal as I deeply reflect on my own actions of communication as I use to think that I was talking to someone when I was texting them before watching this lecture. However, after digging deeper into my reflection I realised that, yes, I do prefer to call people for small talk like their day was going and what they have been up to, but when it comes to deep and important conversations or confrontation, I do prefer to text about these things.

I think the topic is significant to this generation as communication avoidance comes with a cost to today’s society as I believe that it is eroding our human nature of empathy towards one another. – meaning that we are slowly being unable to understand and relate to each other’s feelings. I also want to dive deeper and find out why people also choose to stay off specific social media platforms and choose to engage and not engage with specific posts in their feed. 

Background Research / Context:

In this modern world, we have become completely reliant on technology, especially the younger and my generation. Even though technology has connected us, people are born to be socially interactive communicators and there has never been a time in history where we are more communicative. However, though the invention of smartphones has changed the preference of communicating through texting. Statistics show that the number of texts sent has increased by more than 7,700% over the past decade and 68% of smartphone users said they text more likely than they talk on the phone. The main reasons why people prefer to text is categorised into three justifications; ease of use, ease to remember and less stress.

I found Mukerjee, S. and Yang, T’s paper the ‘Choosing to Avoid? A Conjoint Experimental Study to Understand Selective Exposure and Avoidance on Social Media’ outlines social media platforms provide multiple affordances, which convey several cues to guide users in making decisions about which news to consume. Traditional factorial designs have failed to experimentally study the effects of multiple, simultaneous cues operating on social media. As a result, there is little consensus in the literature about their exact effects on news choice. In this study, we use a conjoint experimental design to examine how source outlet cues, message cues, and social endorsement cues shape news selectivity on Facebook. We find that people significantly avoid news items without-party outlet and message cues. We also find that people select news based only on in-party messages cues, but this effect is smaller than the avoidance of out-party cues. Only strong partisans’ demon- strate a preference for news items with in-party source and message cues. Finally, we find no evidence that social endorsement affects people’s news selection behaviour.

In Zhu, Q., Skoric, M. and Shen, F’s paper the “I Shield Myself From Thee: Selective Avoidance on Social Media During Political Protests” This study examines the phenomenon of politically motivated selective avoidance on Facebook in the context of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement protests in 2014. They conceptualize selective avoidance as individual choices that users make to shield themselves from undesirable dissonant views by removing unwanted information and breaking social ties that transmit such information.

In HICHANG CHO, PENGXIANG LI and ZHANG HAO GOH’s paper the “Privacy Risks, Emotions, and Social Media: A Coping Model of Online Privacy” This study proposes a novel coping model of privacy that extends prior privacy work in two important ways: first, the reconceptualization of privacy coping reflecting both problems- and emotion-focused strategies, and second, the incorporation of discrete emotions as a driver of privacy coping. 

However, the more I researched the more I discovered a gap in the research available and struggled to find research done on why people avoid specific social media platforms and choice to either interact or avoid communication on their chosen social media, this is where I have decided to focus my research.


HICHANG CHO, PENGXIANG LI and ZHANG HAO GOH (2020) ‘Privacy Risks, Emotions, and Social Media: A Coping Model of Online Privacy’, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 27(6), pp. 1–28. doi: 10.1145/3412367.

Mukerjee, S. and Yang, T. (2020) ‘Choosing to Avoid? A Conjoint Experimental Study to Understand Selective Exposure and Avoidance on Social Media’, Political Communication, pp. 1–19. doi: 10.1080/10584609.2020.1763531.

Zhu, Q., Skoric, M. and Shen, F. (2017) ‘I Shield Myself From Thee: Selective Avoidance on Social Media During Political Protests’, Political Communication, 34(1), pp. 112–131. doi: 10.1080/10584609.2016.1222471.

The Pitch – BCM325

“Business owners must try to adapt strategic choices to match the current internal organisational situation and external market conditions.”

McDowell, Harris and Geho, 2016, p. 1907

Aquilah Productions has become a major part of my Bachelor and Communications degree, whether it be part of an assessment or not have continued developing it since I was in high school for a way for me to express my creativity and my professional portfolio.

‘Brands’ notoriously have difficulty retaining interest over time (Preece et al. 2018, p. 331). And, this is especially true for niche accounts like mine and is integral that I must continue to adapt to the continuous paradigm shifts in modern media in order to stay relevant in the current media climate.

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Aquilah Productions – Digital Artefact

My digital artefact is a discovery/exploration series made up of photo and short 1-2 minute videos with the key subjects of people interacting with nature and man-made features as well as them alone. I developed this project through my passion for content creation, adventure and capturing visuals. For my digital artefact, I plan on continuing my hobby social media account Aquilah Productions which I have run for the past two years during school. Through documenting and creating content of my adventures and explorations and posting to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Starter Pack

I achieved this through uploading daily, high quality photo content to both my Instagram and Facebook feed in order to succeed with the algorithm and achieve growth l have also created daily Instagram stories based off the daily photo to promote audience retention and promote engagement and well as gain feedback of my work. I have also created fortnightly video edits of my adventures for YouTube and have promoted sneak peaks on both Instagram and Facebook to drive conversion to watch the entire edit on YouTube.

Through creating and uploading this adventure content daily for the last two months, l have notice a gradual increase of audience retention and engagement through an increase of likes, total impressions as well as a slow increase in followers on all three media outlets, for Instagram I have gained 80 followers since the beginning of the project, As for Facebook I have mange to gain 40 new page likes and for YouTube 10 new subscribers. I found most of my inspiration for content creation and style through YouTube tutorials for both photo and video editing. I also found inspiration through travel/adventure Instagram pages.

Follow for Follow

l also gained followers through usingGary V’s success video for social media growth, through this source l followed his $1.30 strategy to gain followers and build my community.   By searching location and similar hashtags to find content to interact with. Through this DA I also received a Dm from a new company called Moori Drinks which has ended up in paid work for them in December shooting a Kickstarter video for them with long term work potentially available to

Paid Advertisement

I have also experimented with the use of paid advertisement on both Facebook and Instagram to target specific ages, locations and specific personality and interests in order to convert accounts to engage in my piece of content or convert into followers.


My first video edit I made for my DA was from my adventure to Exploring Sydney’s Royal National Park – Wedding Cake Rock and was uploaded to YouTube channel as well as a sperate edit as a preview was uploaded to both my Facebook and Instagram to promote conversion from those social media’s to the full video on YouTube and to subscribe for more content.




I received a lot of positive feedback on both Facebook and Instagram due to the high impressions and total views, As for my YouTube channel struggled to get traction due to being the first post in a 4 month break as for the medium does not allow photo uploads like Instagram and Facebook, thus starting with the algorithm again as an active user, this can be seen in my fortnightly uploads after this original videos.

As for a technical point these videos were easily made due to already gained style and knowledge of final cut pro, for future content would to upload a vlog every other week to maintain a weekly upload schedule and challenge myself due to never vloging before.


Aquilah Productions – Beta

To recap, my digital artefact is reflected around my desire for exploring the outdoors the vastness and scale of natural world and my passion in creating visual content such as photography, videography, and graphic design l have chosen to centre my digital artefact around this hobby that l have done with mates for the past 2 years, and hopefully continue to build my portfolio.

Over the past two month my digital artefact has dramatically changed due to daily posting of high quality photos which have been posted at optimal times on both Facebook and Instagram and have achieved my goals of creating a central hub for nature adventure content.

Gained Followers/Follow for Follow

I have seen a gradual increase of followers across all three media channels, With instagram with the highest with 60 followers gained with Facebook in second place with 10 page likes and YouTube in third with 5 subscribers gained. l also gained followers through using Gary V’s success video for social media growth, through this source l DMed on instagram using the search location feature in the look out for local content creators with a similar page to myself. I managed to connect with Adam Rozmus which caused a follow for follow situation and potentially working together on a project.


Hash tagging on new posts gained followers and heaps more engagement on the post. I used a mix of popular Instagram tags and tags and related to the actual photo I was posting in. Hash tagging caused an influx of engagement on a post and lead to actual followers.

Business Instagram Insights

I used Instagram business tools to see the progress of my DA and to figure out the main audience l was attracting towards my page and the total impressions of each post. I focused on impressions. The 2 photos below show the difference between the start of the project (Left) and the result now (Right).

Paid Advertisement

I have also experimented with the use of paid advertisement on both Facebook and Instagram to target specific ages, locations and specific personality and interests in order to convert accounts to engage in my piece of content or convert into followers.

Facebook Ads

Where Now?

From here my plan is to create a website using square space to create an offical portfolio. I also plan to be a more active user on Instagram with more commenting on other’s posts.

Check out Aquilah Productions