Localized social media and civic life: Motivations, trust, and civic participation in local community contexts

K. Hazel Kwon, Chun Shao, Seungahn Nah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study investigates the ways in which the localized use of social media influences civic life in local communities. Specifically, the study explores the direct and indirect effects of informational and social motivations underlying localized social media uses on trust-building (interpersonal trust, political trust, and trust in community organizations) and civic participation in online and offline contexts. The findings through a nationwide survey of U.S. adults indicate that localized social media use resulted in the increase of interpersonal trust. Furthermore, the results show that trust in community organizations and local political trust played a more important role as a mediator between localized social media use and civic participation. Notably, localized social media use driven by social motivations had a greater effect on trust and civic participation than informational motivation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed for civic technology and community building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Localized social media
  • civic participation
  • interpersonal trust
  • local political trust
  • social motivations
  • trust in community organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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