Digital companions serve as the representative IS to offer companionship. While literature suggests that digital companion users perceiving companionship check their companions more frequently (play), whether and how digital companions could affect the users to socially share (paraplay) remain unknown. This study answers the question by uniquely introducing perceived hope to explain the effect of perceived companionship on social sharing. We conduct a pilot study with a sample of 118 Travel Frog users to test the research model. The findings suggest that perceived attractiveness enhance the users’ perceived companionship, which further increases checking frequency. Uniquely, this study finds that perceived companionship gives hope in real life that further increases social sharing. This study contributes to HCI literature by examining digital companion use in the paraplay context, increasing the impact of IS. Moreover, introducing perceived hope enriches our understandings pertinent to IS emotions.
Liao, Gen-Yih and Chang, Hsiu-Li, "Why Do Users Share About Digital Companions? The Perspective of Hope" (2020). PACIS 2020 Proceedings. 243.
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