Jongeren en Social Network Sites: Welke motivaties hebben jongeren om zich aan te sluiten bij groepen op Social Network Sites?

Hekman, G.P. (2010) Jongeren en Social Network Sites: Welke motivaties hebben jongeren om zich aan te sluiten bij groepen op Social Network Sites?

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Abstract:Introduction Social Media have become one of the most popular activities on the internet. However, it is hard to explain what makes social media so successful. This field of research is relatively young and has a lot of ambiguities with regard to the motivations of users, the satisfactions and the effects of social media usage. Also, businesses need more information to effectively implement social media within their objectives. This research tries to reveal the motivations of youngsters to become a member of groups on Social Network Sites (Networkgroups). For the purpose of this research the Uses and Gratifications theory was used. To identify potential motivations a qualitative research was done with a small group of youngsters. After that the results were used in an online questionnaire. 339 youngsters from a school in the city of Enschede participated in this research. Results Seven motivations which youngsters find important when joining Networkgroups where drawn from the literature research and the qualitative research. These are ‘Information’, ‘Personal Identity’, ‘Integration and Social interaction’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Social Capital’, ‘Self-expression’ and ‘Status’. Also the influence of personal characteristics like ‘age’, ‘gender’, ‘role on SNSs’, ‘experience with SNSs’, etc. where measured. From the seven motivations only one proved to predict ‘joining Networkgroups’, namely ‘entertainment’. Entertainment predicts 4% of ‘joining Networkgroups’. The characteristics ‘how many groups somebody has joined’ and ‘gender’ predict another 15% of ‘joining Networkgroups’. An interesting outcome is that ‘information’, ‘integration and social interaction’ and ‘status’ predict 54% of the motivation ‘entertainment’. This means that youngsters get their entertainment from ‘getting new information’, ‘contacting others’ and ‘looking cool because of the Networkgroup’. Furthermore, after youngsters joined the Networkgroup the gratifications become less important. In other words, the motivations which are important before they join a Networkgroup, are afterwards significantly less important. However, it should be noted that the predicting value of the model is quite low. The motivations only predict four percent of ‘joining a Networkgroup’. It can be concluded that the Uses and Gratifications-theory was not very useful is in this research. This could be caused by the aspect that joining a Networkgroup is more of a social process than traditional media-use. Therefore it is recommended in future research to use a more comprehending model, which includes more characteristics like ‘habit’, ’experience’, ‘self efficacy’, etc. 5 | Recommendations From the participants in this research 90% used Social Network Sites and were also a member of a Networkgroup. About 60% of the users were a daily visitor of the Social Network Sites. This confirms the popularity and possibilities of the Social Network Sites. Seven main-reasons were found why youngsters use Social Network Sites, namely: ‘Social connection’, ‘Shared identities’, ‘Photographs’, ‘Content’, ‘Social investigation’, ‘Social Network Surfing’ and ‘Status Updates’. When an organization wants to reach youngsters through these Social Network Sites it is recommended to use the three most populair activities, ‘Social connection’, ‘Shared identities’ and ‘Photographs’. Joining Networkgroups is also one of these activities. This research confirmed the potential of the Social Network Sites and their Networkgroups. However, the model which is used in this research gives very little practical recommendations regarding organizations. Therefore it is recommended more (practical) research will be done with regard to this topic.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60500
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