Prosumption for Social Sustainability: Social-media Posting of DIY-cooking Outcomes During COVID-19

Vibha Trivedi*, Krishan Kumar Pandey and Ashish Trivedi

Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University Sonipat, India
E-mail: vibhap28@gmail.com
*Corresponding Author

Received 08 January 2022; Accepted 04 April 2022; Publication 28 May 2022

Abstract

Sharing of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) cooking outcomes on various social media platforms was one of the most visible phenomena on the digital landscapes during COVID-19 led lockdowns. Since the prosumption of food is not considered as a source of alternative food system only, but also as a source of pleasure, DIY-cooking-related social media posts during the lockdown were prevalent among internet users. This paper examines variations in the social media posting behavior of food prosumers based on four individual and three social factors of gender, age, marital status, and family structure. Responses from 198 Facebook food community members were used to test the statistical hypotheses. The analyses report that the need for entertainment value while posting on social media was different among different demographic factors, whereas self-discovery and social enhancement did not exhibit variations across demographics. The need for social presence mattered more for unmarried people during social isolation whereas females used DIY-cooking posting to fulfil the need for uniqueness. The implications for social sustainability and business practices are also discussed.

Keywords: COVID-19, prosumption, social sustainability, social media postings, DIY-cooking.

1 Introduction

COVID-19 is marked as one of the most prominent disasters in the history of civilization. The number of COVID-19 affected countries was over two hundred by the end of the year 2020 (Atalan, 2020) and grew to two hundred twenty-two by the end of the year 2021 (Worldometer, 2021), while the number of affected people worldwide was alone more than 11 million as on July 2020 (WHO, 2020). This pandemic changed the ways of life across the globe during the early 2020s. The governments imposed different forms of lockdowns leading to restricted mobility and a mandatory physical social disconnect to curb the virus spread. The lockdowns prohibited all social activities such as dining out in restaurants or even on street-side outlets (Abouk and Heydari, 2021; Atalan, 2020). Often, disruptions of this scale give rise to needs that carve paths for significant innovations of that time. Such innovations bring hope for improvements in the situations and become an integral part of the civilization (Christensen, 2013). COVID-19 was no different and brought a paradigm shift in the ways of societal life. Social communities tend to protect and sustain socio-cultural traditions in the face of crisis (Vallance et al., 2011). Such preservation of preferred ways of living contributes toward social sustainability. Sustainable communities are one of two dimensions of social sustainability (Dempsey et al., 2011). Lockdowns triggered a sense of struggle for normalcy and thereby various coping mechanisms became visible at the community level. Overall, this crisis also had the potential of bringing major changes, at the societal level, in the ways of consumption due to enhanced and lasting customer experiences (Reeves et al., 2020).

DIY is an age-old practice and is used for tasks that can be easily outsourced if one does not wish to perform the same (Hill, 1979). Further, these tasks are fundamentally an arrangement of wilful creation on one’s account. DIY activities are in close alignment with the organizing concept of prosumption, which by definition, refers to the activity involving production and consumption for gaining value inseparably (Lehner, 2019; Ritzer, 2014). The motive behind indulging in DIY activities lies somewhere between lifestyle choice and necessity (Williams, 2004). DIYs are done not only when there is an unavailability of the needed products in the market, but also for meeting psychosociological needs such as self-enhancement goals (SEGs) (Wolf and McQuitty, 2011). Social media platforms have become a means of signalling what one wishes others to perceive from the displayed behavior (Donath, 2008). With the dawn of virtual social get-togethers as the only option for social connectedness during the lockdown, social media usage increased twofold (Roos, 2020). Social interactions among the community members also led to social sustainability (Dempsey et al., 2011) that was at risk in the face of pandemic led lockdown. Pandemic created a socio-psychological environment where a larger population shared similar behavioural and emotional shifts (Chesterman et al., 2021; Delvecchio et al., 2022; Kaya, 2020). Social media sharing of contents leads to the user’s psychological well-being and is also informative (Cuello-Garcia et al., 2020; González-Padilla and Tortolero-Blanco, 2020; Kaya, 2020).

During COVID-19 led lockdowns, people indulged themselves in the display of their culinary skills by posting pictures and videos of the cooked dishes As these posts carried similar feelings of those times (Chesterman et al., 2021; Kaya, 2020), this might have motivated the larger population for posting first time cooked uncommon dishes that were unavailable otherwise during the lockdown. Thus, examining the motivations for cooking less traditional dishes at home for self-consumption and their posting behavior on social media across various demographics becomes the basis of the present study. The present research analyses seven individual and social dimensions of motivations behind the social media posting behavior of food prosumers. Further, it also investigates the degree of variations across several key demographic characteristics of people. In addition to utilitarian benefits, it would be interesting to probe further the hedonic values associated with cooking dishes at home and posting them on various social media platforms. We, thus, label this activity of cooking dishes that were hardly part of the home cooking menu, as Do-it-yourself (DIY)-cooking, and the present study would interchangeably use DIY-cooking with prosumption (Lehner, 2019).

Overall, understanding the phenomenon of lockdown led to DIY-cooking adoption by the masses, and variations in the responsible factors behind social media posting of cooking outcomes across four demographics will be of scholarly significance. As crisis can also bring positive returns while adapting to the new ways of life (Kirk and Rifkin, 2020), we posit to examine the variations in motives (individual as well as social) of social media posting behavior of DIY-cooking activities across various demographics (gender, age groups, marital status, and family structure).

The rest of the paper is as follows. Section 2 reviews the literature to explore underlying motivations behind the posting of DIY posting of cooking outcomes. The research questions and the hypotheses are also explained in this section. Section 3 highlights the participants and the procedure of the study. Section 4 analyses the results and findings of the study. Section 5 reports the discussions while concluding remarks are given in the last section.

2 Literature Review

DIY activities are the activities that are done wilfully, despite knowing the fact that they could easily be outsourced anytime (Hill, 1979). Parties involved in DIY activities are labelled as ‘prosumers’ (Kotler, 1986a). Prosumer is defined as a consumer who is also a producer. This process is understood as a co-creation of value, which has recently pulled a significant amount of attention from the marketing scholars (Hazée et al., 2017; Vargo and Lusch, 2004; Wolf and McQuitty, 2011). Prosumption is aimed at production for consumption by self (Xie et al., 2008). However, such a production activity doesn’t have any economic value (Hill, 1979; Kuznetsov and Paulos, 2010) and there must be some other forms of motivations for indulging in such value co-creation. Additionally, as a most specialized species, humans tend not only to create functional benefits from their marketing activities but seeking higher-order needs is a norm for ages (Vargo and Lusch, 2004). Since online social media platforms are also means of prosumption (Ritzer, 2014), their collaborative and cooperative ways of usage lead toward sustainable prosumption (Eizenberg and Jabareen, 2017; Lehner, 2019). This implies that DIY-cooking and their social media posting can also be compared to the production, consumption, and gaining of value in a socially responsible manner. Further, socially responsible behavior carves a path to social responsibility.

DIY is not new to human culture; fixing water leakages without calling for a plumber, fixing small electrical issues without having a professional electrician, or even designing fancy clothes on one’s own is in practice for ages (Kuznetsov and Paulos, 2010). The only difference between DIY of then and now could be the scale of opportunities to show off one’s capabilities of successfully carrying out a DIY project. Various communities are found on social media that share common content. These communities (including Facebook’s Foodies Community, Plant Lovers, and Virtual Reading Community) allow posting of various topics or sometimes they focus only on a single topic (Kuznetsov and Paulos, 2010).

DIY activities have long been seen as ‘productive leisure practices’ The motivation for indulging in a DIY activity can be a scientific pursuit, personal organization, community values, and intrinsic enjoyment of creating DIY objects (Kuznetsov and Paulos, 2010). Similarly, DIY has also been linked to the activities aimed at identity production, expertise, image, involvement, following customs of sharing, learning through teaching, social networking communities, and culture of practice (Wang and Kaye, 2011). Nowadays, such motivations are easily and efficiently met with mass access to the world wide web as well as social media connecting with DIY communities. An additional outcome is the hedonization of produce (Tanenbaum et al., 2013). In other words, the outcome is not only at par with the standard quality and functional utility but tends to carry a high pleasure quotient by indulging in DIY activities (Lehner, 2019). The motivation to engage in social media can be due to various social needs such as gaining pleasure from interaction, creating a favourable social identity, abiding by social norms, and certain kinds of connections in the virtual world (Oliveira et al., 2016; Veen et al., 2021).

A crisis is the testing time, when a sense of loose control is dominant (Kirk and Rifkin, 2020). During COVID-19, when there was a complete lockdown, DIY was the only possible way to meet several needs from outside food to clothes, from activities such as repairing home appliances to gardening, and so forth (Swan, 2020; Taparia, 2020). Food prosumption helps make more food options available and in transition from mundane routine as it involves manual cooking procedures that are occasionally done (Veen et al., 2021). During the lockdown when the population was facing mental and physical health issues, DIY-cooking was likely to help reduce the stress. As Facebook food communities were full of DIY cooking posts of unusual preparations, which allowed them to gain pleasure from manual cooking as well as a virtual company of friends, understanding the demographic characteristics of this user group would also enrich the socio-psychological understanding. Further, demographical findings will be useful in formulating tailored adaptive strategies (Delvecchio et al., 2022). There may be a connection between the posting of DIY cooking projects and the fulfilment of self-presentation goals, the need for human warmth, and/or overcoming boredom. Similarly, posting about other DIY activities can also be attributed to certain other kinds of motivations. Further, we will discuss DIY activities and their potential driving factors based on the existing literature.

2.1 DIY Activities

The DIY was learned and adopted widely by the consumers at an enhanced rate during the pandemic. This has been a transformational event taking place at an unprecedented speed to help one’s consumption needs under crises like these. Technology not only helped in meeting fundamental needs but also fulfilled higher-order needs of belongingness, status, and self-esteem.

During the lockdown, under the fear of the spread of the disease, DIY was the only option left with people across the globe to change their usual ways of living. Though by definition, DIY activity, otherwise, can be outsourced, lockdowns made it the only option then. It was reported that Americans had started preparing their meals more often, which was different from what they were practising for the last 50 years (Taparia, 2020). DIY cooking was reported to be a more enjoyable process and instilled more self-confidence in the home-bound cooking for post-pandemic life (Hunter, 2020). Similarly, the Indian population also showed increased interest in cooking, when restaurants and malls were shut down (Bailay and Bhushan, 2020; Menon et al., 2022). For firms, hosting online live-cooking contests and shows became an interesting way to keep the brand visible even during the lockdown. This made DIY cooking, even more, engaging on social media (Bailay and Bhushan, 2020). Another example of popular DIY activity is creative designs of face masks which were in significant demand due to the pandemic As a mandatory accessory, face masks soon got fashioned into DIY masks as a potential source of identity (Jingnan, 2020), thus used for flaunting (Dahiya, 2020), associated with self-presentation efforts. Thus, the self-presentation goal is considered one of the key factors of social media postings of DIY-cooking outcomes.

Pandemic-led lockdown is responsible for increased social media postings of personal information for entertainment and social support as a coping mechanism against the stress caused by restricted social movement (Kirk and Rifkin, 2020; Nabity-Grover et al., 2020). Despite the growing insignificance of gender differences regarding access to computers and the internet over time, genders may find various online activities different from one another (Broos, 2005; Weiser, 2000). Several studies noted the potential varying impact of gender on web usage (Lim and Kwon, 2010). Interestingly, education level was also found to have a varying impact (Kim et al., 2014). Students studying abroad were also found to be different in web usage for information seeking (Sin and Kim, 2013). The frequent status update and the length of social media usage were found to vary across genders, age groups, and other demographic characteristics (Hampton et al., 2011). Such findings strengthen the present study’s idea of investigating the varying impacts of the aforementioned motivating factors of social media postings during the lockdown across various demographic factors. Hence it would be enriching to further examine the nature of variations across genders, age groups, marital status, and family structure in the social media context during COVID-19. The findings would be an interesting addition to the social media usage literature during unprecedented times for future consumer researchers and practitioners.

DIY-cooking helps in the psychological transition through the involvement in manual cooking procedures with friends (Veen et al., 2021). Though the existing research already establishes these motivating factors as antecedents of social media usage and for posting personal content, our main purpose is to see the difference in behavior across various demographic factors due to lockdown-led conditions. Pandemic affected the sociodemographic states of a larger population and, hence, also has been referred to as a “Global stressor” (Chesterman et al., 2021). In the sections ahead, we outline various factors that are the established reasons for social media postings of personal content in the literature.

2.2 Potential Reasons for Posting DIY Activities on Social Media

After reviewing the literature, we were able to figure out two categories under which all the factors could be classified- individual psychological aspects and socio-psychological aspects behind social media usage and post-sharing.

2.2.1 Individual factors

Self-presentation goal (SPG)

It is evident from the literature that consumers place a higher economic value on their co-created products, such as a self-assembled bookcase (Norton et al., 2012) and self-designed t-shirt (Franke et al., 2010) than on identical products made by someone else. Such co-creation efforts, known as prosumption (Xie et al., 2008), help bolster the consumers’ feelings of competence (Mochon et al., 2012), and pride (Kirk et al., 2015). When consumers feel a loss of control in their life domains, the above enforcement from one’s achievements further plays an important role in moral upliftment (Kirk and Rifkin, 2020). Further, online media communication is one way where users have a sense of control over interactions (McKenna and Bargh, 2000). The use of such social media is primarily done to fulfil one’s need to belong to groups of people as well as to manage desired self-image (Nadkarni and Hofmann, 2012). The latter need is referred to as a self-presentation goal (SPG). SPGs are related to the continuous efforts of self-image management on social platforms (Nadkarni and Hofmann, 2012). In the DIY context, it has been noted that sharing one’s successful outcome of DIY projects on social media is one of the popular social media norms in the present social environment (Mayshak et al., 2017). Therefore, we posit:

H1a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s self-presentation goals differs across genders.

H1b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s self-presentation goals differs across various age groups.

H1c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s self-presentation goals differs across various family structures.

H1d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s self-presentation goals differs across the marital status.

Self-discovery (SD)

Self-discovery is defined as an in-depth understanding of one’s prominent aspects through social interactions (Cheung et al., 2011). People seek information about themselves from others to have an idea of self-image (Higgins, 1996). In other words, humans deepen their knowledge of selves with the help of people around them who contribute to building their belief system. Interestingly, tasks of higher informational value are preferred over easy or difficult tasks for enhancing one’s understanding of the self (Trope, 1975). Social media platforms are sought for positive feedback and comments, which further enhances the subjective well-being of the users (Valkenburg et al., 2006). Additionally, social media sharing of one’s success story provides enhanced happiness (Raghunathan and Corfman, 2006) as well as it is continuously used for one’s self-discovery (Cheung and Lee, 2009). In other words, the motive of self-discovery also impacts social media usage. Therefore, we posit:

H2a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for self-discovery differs across genders.

H2b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for self-discovery differs across various age groups.

H2c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for self-discovery differs across the various family structure.

H2d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for self-discovery differs across the marital status.

Entertainment value (EV)

Entertainment value (EV) can be defined as the fun and relaxation derived from playing or interacting with others (Cheung et al., 2011). Need for EV significantly impacts the social networking site (SNS) usage of its users (Cheung et al., 2011). Hence, to get rid of the boredom during the pandemic, it is likely that social media users shared their DIY-cooking outcomes with their social media group members for fun and relaxation. This leads to our third hypothesis –

H3a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire for entertainment value differs across genders.

H3b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire for entertainment value differs across various age groups.

H3c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire for entertainment value differs across various family structures.

H3d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire for entertainment value differs across the marital status.

Need for uniqueness (UNIQUE)

The need for uniqueness has been accepted as the universal need of individuals and they fulfil this need by expressing their individuality to others (Ruvio et al., 2008). Theoretically, the need for uniqueness affects the individuals’ sensitivity to their similarity to others and they tend to project their different and unique selves to others (Snyder, 1992). In the social media platform, sharing is intended to have social sanctions that disapprove the existence of the need for uniqueness (Snyder and Fromkin, 1980). The possessions are also used to define one’s unique self (Belk, 1988). Thus, DIY outcomes as one’s unique possessions can be used to fulfil needs to showcase one’s uniqueness by sharing that on social media platforms. Hence, we posit –

H4a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for uniqueness differs across genders.

H4b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for uniqueness differs across various age groups.

H4c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for uniqueness differs across various family structures.

H4d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s need for uniqueness differs across the marital status.

2.2.2 Social factors

Maintaining interpersonal interconnectivity (CONNECT)

Connectivity within the social relationship arena is characterized by having a feeling of staying in touch with other members of the group (IJsselsteijn et al., 2003). Communicating, constructing, sustaining as well as enhancing social relationships are the fundamental goals of human beings (IJsselsteijn et al., 2003). Since SNS is the source of social support and is considered the means to satisfy the need for social connectedness (Brailovskaia and Margraf, 2016; Sinclair and Grieve, 2017), this motive is likely to have played an important role in such an increased social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the pandemic that imposed lockdown and consequent social isolation. Therefore, we posit:

H5a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire to maintain interpersonal interconnectivity differs across genders.

H5b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire to maintain interpersonal interconnectivity differs across various age groups.

H5c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire to maintain interpersonal interconnectivity differs across family structures.

H5d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s desire to maintain interpersonal interconnectivity differs across the marital status.

Social presence (SP)

Social presence is the degree to which personal connections among users are facilitated by the medium (Short et al., 1976). There is sufficient scholarly evidence stating the significance of media characteristics that ease the occurrence of social presence (Barnes and Vidgen, 2014; Sproull and Kiesler, 1986; Yoo and Alavi, 2001). Further, the elements such as media sensitivity, human feelings, touch, and warmth are the measures of social presence. Thus, a long-established phenomenon of social presence is said to have an impact on media users’ sense of belonging (Ooi et al., 2018). The feelings of membership and identification among the users of social media also helped them to develop a sense of belonging (Lin et al., 2014). Hence, it is expected that to enhance the feelings of belongingness and membership in the social media food-related communities, users shared their DIY-cooking outcomes on social media platforms. Thus, we hypothesize –

H6a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social presence differs across genders.

H6b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social presence differs across various age groups.

H6c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social presence differs across various family structures.

H6d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social presence differs across the marital status.

Social enhancement (SE)

Previous research works have substantially established social enhancement as a driving force for internet use (Flanagin and Metzger, 2001). By using social media networks, users meet their needs for self-publicity, seeking the self-status to attain respect from their counterparts in the online communities, and appreciation from friends in virtual social media communities (Pai and Arnott, 2013). Hence, we posit –

H7a: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social enhancement differs across genders.

H7b: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social enhancement differs across various age groups.

H7c: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social enhancement differs across various family structures.

H7d: The social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during the lockdown-2020 due to an individual’s motivation for social enhancement differs across the marital status.

3 Participants and Procedure

In India, Facebook is a popular social media platform at a granular level with over 54% of users (Internet World Stats, 2021). There are various food-related communities on Facebook. Such communities reported a significant number of posts during the pandemic with hashtags such as #lockdown, #lockdown2020, #lockdowncooking, #firstattempt, #Homemade, #firstpost, #firsttimebaking, and so forth. The online community selected for our study has 224.6K members with the name Lucknow Foodies (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LucknowFoodiesClub). To have more generalizable results and to widen the research horizon, we also administered the questionnaire to other people through Facebook and WhatsApp. Initially, the questionnaire was administered to 215 participants and after the data cleaning procedure, 198 data points were available for further analysis (refer to Table 2 for sample descriptives). All the scales were borrowed from the published literature (refer to Table 1) and were modified as per the context of our study.

Table 1 Scales with source details

 Factors Source Self-presentation goal (SPG) (Jacobsen et al., 2017) Self-discovery (SD) (Cheung and Lee, 2009) Entertainment value (EV) (Cheung et al., 2011) Need for uniqueness (UNIQUE) (Ruvio et al., 2008) Maintaining interpersonal interconnectivity (CONNECT) (Cheung et al., 2011) Social Presence (SP) (Oliveira et al., 2016) Social Enhancement (SE) (Oliveira et al., 2016)

Table 2 Sample descriptives

 Descriptive Statistics N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Variance Age YMO 198 1 3 1.55 0.633 0.401 Gender 198 1 2 1.51 0.501 0.251 Marital Status 198 1 2 1.55 0.499 0.249 Family Structure 198 1 3 2.25 0.625 0.390 Valid N (listwise) 198

4 Results and Analysis

To test the potential impact of motivating factors of social media posting of DIY-cooking outcomes across various demographics, we employed the ANOVA approach. ANOVA results are given in Table 3 and the summary results have been reported in Table 4.

Table 3 Means & Standard Deviation (SD)

 Maintaining Self-presentation Entertainment Need for Interpersonal Social Social Goal Self-discovery Value Uniqueness Interconnectivity Presence Enhancement Mean/SD Mean/SD Mean/SD Mean/SD Mean/SD Mean/SD Mean/SD Male 3.50/1.054 3.70/1.032 4.16/0.587 3.49/1.100 3.28/1.207 3.57/1.124 3.58/1.137 Female 3.78/0.900 3.87/0.906 3.83/0.918 3.82/0.830 3.56/1.307 3.76/1.131 3.62/0.972 Young 3.61/1.040 3.68/1.056 3.81/0.945 3.57/1.055 3.72/1.207 3.82/1.061 3.47/1.077 Mid aged 3.71/0.921 3.92/0.871 4.23/0.451 3.72/0.920 3.06/1.231 3.47/1.138 3.71/1.030 Old aged 3.48/0.982 3.83/0.816 4.02/0.695 3.88/0.778 3.22/1.361 3.57/1.425 3.93/0.942 Nuclear 3.71/1.018 3.72/1.005 3.87/0.874 3.71/0.952 3.65/1.097 3.78/1.030 3.57/1.004 Joint family 3.53/0.969 3.93/0.911 4.08/0.700 3.60/1.069 2.76/1.357 3.43/1.290 3.62/1.174 Staying alone 3.68/0.884 3.65/0.975 4.38/0.271 3.55/0.887 4.47/0.251 3.83/0.950 3.68/0.922 Single 3.75/0.852 3.79/0.862 3.77/0.971 3.64/0.936 4.01/0.902 3.99/0.838 3.46/1.006 Married 3.55/1.081 3.78/1.057 4.18/0.538 3.67/1.027 2.94/1.313 3.39/1.260 3.72/1.054

ANOVA results show that there was a significant effect of SPG on social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during COVID-19 led lockdown at the p $<$ 0.05 level for the genders [F (1,196) $=$ 4.162, p $=$ 0.043] only. For the rest of the demographics such as for marital status conditions [F (1,196) $=$ 1.995, p $=$ 0.159], age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 0.452, p $=$ 0.637], and for the family structure conditions [F (2,195) $=$ 0.662, p $=$ 0.517] the impact was insignificant. Overall, social media sharing of DIY outcomes was found to be higher in females than males. Whereas, for SD, ANOVA outcomes were found to be insignificant across age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 1.392, p $=$ 0.251], gender [F (2,195) $=$ 1.392, p $=$ 0.251], marital status conditions [F (1,196) $=$ 0.008, p $=$ 0.930] and family structure conditions [F (2,195) $=$ 1.294, p $=$ 0.277].

Further, results also show that there was a significant effect of EV on social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during COVID-19 led lockdown at the p $<$ 0.05 level for the conditions of age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 6.547, p $=$ 0.002], genders [F (1,196) $=$ 9.222, p $=$ 0.003], marital status conditions [F (1,196) $=$ 13.843, p $=$ 0.000] and the family structure conditions [F (2,195) $=$ 4.280, p $=$ 0.015]. Overall, social media sharing of DIY outcomes was found to be higher in mid-aged married males who stay alone to pass time and relaxation by playing or entertainment.

The females post their DIY-outcomes on social media more to share their original and unique dishes with community members [F (1,196) $=$ 5.785, p $=$ 0.017]. However, impact of need for uniqueness did not change with age [F (2,195) $=$ 0.990, p $=$ 0.373], marital status [F (1,196) $=$ 0.037, p $=$ 0.849] and family structure [F (2,195) $=$ 0.375, p $=$ 0.688].

Table 4 Summary table for hypothesis supported/not supported

 Supported(S)/ Supported(S)/ Supported(S)/ Hypothesis Not Supported Hypothesis Not Supported Hypothesis Not Supported No. (H) (NS) No. (H) (NS) No. (H) (NS) H1a S H3c S H6a NS H1b NS H3d S H6b NS H1c NS H4a S H6c NS H1d NS H4b NS H6d S H2a NS H4c NS H7a NS H2b NS H4d NS H7b NS H2c NS H5a NS H7c NS H2d NS H5b S H7d NS H3a S H5c S H3b S H5d S

The effect of CONNECT on social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during COVID-19 led lockdown at the p $<$ 0.05 level for age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 6.652, p $=$ 0.002], for marital status [F (1,196) $=$ 42.820, p $=$ 0.000], family structure [F (2,195) $=$ 21.969, p $=$ 0.000] were found to be significant and the gender differences showed no impact [F (1,196) $=$ 2.470, p $=$ 0.118].

The impact of SP on social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during COVID-19 led lockdown at the p $<$ 0.05 level for age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 2.215, p $=$ 0.112], genders [F (1,196) $=$ 1.312, p $=$ 0.254] and for family structure [F (2,195) $=$ 2.371, p $=$ 0.096] were found insignificant. Whereas marital status mattered in such cases. For single people, such social media posting is meant to be a source of socialization and human warmth more than married people as per the statistical analysis.

Similarly, for SE, ANOVA results across all the tested demographics came insignificant. The effect of SE on social media sharing of DIY-cooking outcomes during COVID-19 led lockdown at the p $<$ 0.05 level for age groups [F (2,195) $=$ 1.966, p $=$ 0.143], genders [F (1,196) $=$ 0.065, p $=$ 0.799], for marital status [F (1,196) $=$ 2.892, p $=$ 0.091] and for family structure [F (2,195) $=$ 0.101, p $=$ 0.904].

5 Discussions

Social endorsement of the living patterns of the genders determines the expected and accepted societal roles of men and women at large (Krasnova et al., 2017). Though these behaviors are self-selected by them, this selection is based on several observations and social interactions. Despite the innate differences that men and women possess, their self-construals are shaped by these socially accepted and observed behaviors (Cross and Madson, 1997). Therefore, we argued that the need for self-presentation, self-discovery, entertainment value, and need for uniqueness would be gender-sensitive.

Further, findings suggest that the need to relax and pass time to get over the boredom created by a complete lockdown was higher for male participants who were married, aged between 25–44 years, and were living alone during the lockdown. Results are quite expected as the men falling in this age group of office going population were the ones whose movement was completely checked and lockdown made a great amount of difference to their daily routine.

Since previous research also revealed self-presentation strategies being gender-sensitive in social media environments (Reed and Saunders, 2020), our results about SPG being gender-sensitive corroborate the prior research’s findings, and further added that females would use social media because of more SPG. By cooking dishes at home that were part of the outside dining menu before the lockdown, and posting them on social media, the need of telling others about the successful DIY cooking stories was found higher in females. The finding is aligned with previous research finding that reported females showing more social media-related behavior (Reed and Saunders, 2020). Since DIY-cooking and their postings were not the usual phenomena, this novel way of expressing the joy of cooking new dishes successfully on social media is comparable to the activities analyzed in extant literature (Park et al., 2016; Reed and Saunders, 2020). Skills are a vital element of cooking and thus can impact users’ self-presentation motives on social media (Jacobsen et al., 2017). Additionally, previous studies reported that the self-presentation motive mattered more for all female users (Casale et al., 2020; Pliner et al., 1990; Sinha and Bhattacharya, 2020) which further extends the strength of our findings. Thus, females posted their DIY-cooking of extra-ordinary dishes more on the online food communities to express their success stories of being skilled in cooking than their counterparts during the lockdown. For other groups, between married vs unmarried, staying in nuclear vs joint families, and among all age groups, there was no significant difference, suggesting an equal need for coping mechanisms for every stratum of the population (Chesterman et al., 2021). As SPGs increase with age (Banerjee, 2002), finding no differences among other classes is understandable as our data included respondents above 18 years. Since lockdown allowed cooking and displaying dishes that were earlier part of the outside eating menu, and cooking was different from the usual cooking females do (Fürst, 1997), their increased participation was expectedly reported in the findings.

The motivation for inter-personal connectivity in food communities comes from learning and self-presentation opportunities (Jacobsen et al., 2017). Therefore, it is understandable from our results that there is significant variation in the need for maintaining interpersonal connectivity on social media postings across various age groups, family structures, and marital statuses. Complete lockdown restricted social interaction and thus virtual food communities became the all-in-one platform for having human interactions and social discussions. Interestingly, our results show expected variations. During the lockdown, when there was an imposed social isolation, the need to connect was fulfilled through sharing on virtual food communities more by users who were young, single, and staying alone. Social isolation did not affect much to the married users who were living in joint families. The need to connect was found gender insensitive as social isolation and distancing increased the need to connect to overcome the stress caused by the pandemic (Bavel et al., 2020; Mamahit, 2021).

Similarly, the need for social presence also mattered for unmarried people. Since the online social media platforms were profusely used for maintaining social connectivity while maintaining physical isolation due to the pandemic (O’Brien et al., 2020), the need for human warmth and sensitivity might have become even more important for unmarried people than in ordinary circumstances (Hughes and Gove, 1981; Ross, 1995). Thus, SNS posting of DIY-cooking outcomes might have helped unmarried people in meeting their need for social presence.

During the lockdown, home cooking from scratch became popular (Gerritsen et al., 2021) and people started enjoying cooking activities such as baking cakes, making sweets, and cooking new, difficult, and different recipes for the first time. There are a few studies that reported the potential occurrence of self-discovery during the lockdown through cooking (Gerritsen et al., 2021; Merve, 2021). Similarly, during the pandemic, the occurrence of self-enhancement was reported in terms of people’s belief in their knowledge and behavior during the Coronavirus outbreak (Mojzisch et al., 2021; Sedikides, 2021). In our analysis, social media posting for both self-discovery and self-enhancement is found insignificant across genders, age groups, marital status, and family structures. As novel Coronavirus was itself a new phenomenon, knowing and sharing about it seemed important for every stratum of society. The potential reason for not getting results for self-enhancement during the pandemic lies in its nature. Self-enhancement is associated with self-transcendence, self-interest, and egoistic behavior, which on the other hand is negatively related to social sustainability (Septiyanti and Zerlina, 2020). During a crisis of such scale, prosocial behavior is warranted at the community level to reduce the stress due to the pandemic (L. J. Wolf et al., 2020). Our results show that females posted DIY outcomes as they have more need for uniqueness, which can be corroborated by several previous studies where females were found to have a higher need for uniqueness in several other contexts such as fashion clothing, cosmetic enhancements, and so forth (Gillen and Dunaev, 2017; Lang and Joyner Armstrong, 2018).

6 Implications and Concluding Remarks

A final consideration for the existing pandemic-led situation and disruptive economy represents the temporary versus permanent anomaly in social media usage motivations. Virtual social groups have emerged as the most required basic amenities due to the COVID-19 crisis. Research on the COVID-19 led phenomena is in its infancy. Therefore, examining the impact of the pandemic in various corners of lives and, thus investigating its impact on businesses is certain to bring further additions to the body of knowledge. Society gets familiarised with the pandemic and the potential impacts it might have on various phenomena; businesses can start thinking of providing more platforms that are not only meant for passing time but are safer in every other sense. Our research aligns the organizing concepts of prosumption behavior on social media with and for social sustainability for communities in the face of pandemic-led crises that changed the ways of normal living. Interactions among the social media community members are also a source of social sustainability (Dempsey et al., 2011) that was at risk in the face of pandemic-led lockdown. In the absence of physical interaction opportunities, virtual social interactions have contributed to social sustainability. Hence, future research works might make this virtue of social media platforms a focal point for coping with adversaries of similar nature.

Our research embodies three different streams of research, which are among the few emerging concepts of recent times. Future researchers can explore more ways that can act to bring in some respite to all facets and strata of the society from the ill effects of crises. Other social media firms and associated businesses can capitalize on the impacts of such lockdowns and social isolations, which might occur for any reason in the future. Businesses can also leverage the information derived from demography-based findings for segmenting and targeting their potential consumers. Both business management and psychology literature would benefit from the revelation of the impact of the pandemic on the prosumption behavior of individuals from different demographic backgrounds on the community level. In the evolving environment during and post COVID-19, customers’ emerging needs for the new forms of products and services are yet to be explored. The understanding of changes in social attitude toward adopting DIY activities and posting the outcomes on social media would help predict future market structure.

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Biographies

Vibha Trivedi works as a Teaching and Research for Intellectual Pursuit (TRIP) Fellow at O.P. Jindal Global University, India. She is a PhD in Marketing area from O.P. Jindal Global University. In her doctoral research, she conducted an experiment to examine the role of online deals on consumer repurchase intention. She also holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Lucknow and is UGC-NET qualified. Her current areas of research interest include e-retailing, symbolic brands, customer experiences, repurchase intention, e-waste, Prosumption, and sustainable practices in business and the environment. Her research works have been published in a journal of international repute and have also been accepted for presentation at international conferences. She has been recognised with the “Best Student Researcher” award in 2019 and for Research Excellence in 2021 by O.P. Jindal Global University. She has taught at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.

Krishan Kumar Pandey is currently working as a Dean, Office of Doctoral Studies & Professor in the area of decision sciences at Jindal Global Business School and Director, Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS) at O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University). Dr. Pandey holds Bachler’s, Master’s and Doctorate in Statistics from JNV University, Jodhpur. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Allahabad and an executive program in data science from Xavier School of Management (XLRI), Jamshedpur. Dr. Pandey has worked for Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main University of Applied Sciences, Frankfurt, Germany on the European Union’s project for capacity building of the Indian aviation sector.

Ashish Trivedi works as an Associate Professor in the area of Operations Management and Decision Sciences at Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University), Sonipat. He is also the Assistant Dean of Integrated BBA-MBA Programme offered by the business school. He is a fellow (Ph.D.) from Indian Institute of Management Rohtak. In his doctoral research, he developed a decision support model for shelter planning in humanitarian relief. He also holds an MBA degree in International Business from University of Lucknow and an engineering degree in Electronics and Communication. His research has been published in various journals of international repute including International Journal of Project Management, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis, International Journal of Disaster risk reduction and so forth. He has also presented his research works at various international conferences held in Europe, UK, Australia and Singapore.