This study investigates individual- and community-level factors that affect how people use People-Nearby Applications (PNAs) to meet people in their local communities. We pose that individuals’ local social needs stimulate PNAs use, but that this relationship is contingent upon their neighborhood characteristics. A multiple informant methodology was used. 314 Italian and Dutch PNAs users answered an online questionnaire about their local social needs (bridging social capital, loneliness, sense of community) and their neighborhood social and environmental characteristics. Results show that community-related PNAs use facilitates users to meet their social needs when their local community offers opportunities for social interaction. When the neighborhood offers social places, the relationship between PNAS use and loneliness increases, indicating that in such cases people are willing to use PNAS to counter their loneliness. Furthermore, when neighbors are already more supportive, the relationship between sense of community and PNAS use becomes more negative, which may mean PNAS use cannot further add to a sense of community if the neighborhood already provides this; conversely, the one between bridging social capital and PNAS use becomes more positive. In sum, results show that PNAS use is related to local community experiences, albeit contingent upon the specific neighborhood characteristics.

People-Nearby Applications Use and Local Community Experiences: Disentangling Their Interplay through a Multilevel, Multiple Informant Approach

Flora Gatti
;
Fortuna Procentese;
2022

Abstract

This study investigates individual- and community-level factors that affect how people use People-Nearby Applications (PNAs) to meet people in their local communities. We pose that individuals’ local social needs stimulate PNAs use, but that this relationship is contingent upon their neighborhood characteristics. A multiple informant methodology was used. 314 Italian and Dutch PNAs users answered an online questionnaire about their local social needs (bridging social capital, loneliness, sense of community) and their neighborhood social and environmental characteristics. Results show that community-related PNAs use facilitates users to meet their social needs when their local community offers opportunities for social interaction. When the neighborhood offers social places, the relationship between PNAS use and loneliness increases, indicating that in such cases people are willing to use PNAS to counter their loneliness. Furthermore, when neighbors are already more supportive, the relationship between sense of community and PNAS use becomes more negative, which may mean PNAS use cannot further add to a sense of community if the neighborhood already provides this; conversely, the one between bridging social capital and PNAS use becomes more positive. In sum, results show that PNAS use is related to local community experiences, albeit contingent upon the specific neighborhood characteristics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/901743
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