Cuteness in Mobile Messaging: An Exploration of Virtual “Cute” Sticker Use in China and the United States
This study employs the interactive communication technology adoption model to explain differences in cute sticker use on mobile messengers by Chinese and U.S. college students. An online survey of 205 Chinese and 304 U.S. participants reveals that Chinese participants hold stronger gender role beliefs and perceive cute stickers to be more helpful, as well as easier to use. These factors, to varying degrees, explain higher sticker use among Chinese students in comparison to their U.S. counterparts. Compared to U.S. men students, Chinese men students with a low-to-medium allocentrism level perceive cute stickers to be easier to use and use more cute stickers, and those who have medium-to-high levels of allocentrism hold stronger gender role beliefs and also use more cute stickers. After controlling for different messaging platforms, the cross-cultural difference in cute sticker use was found to be larger for men compared to women, with use levels being similar among U.S. and Chinese women.