This chapter is discussing about the significant findings of the relationship between the usage of Facebook and college students, how they fulfill the different gratification by using Facebook. This will relate to the literature review in Chapter 2.
Summary of Findings
The purpose of our study was to explore and invest the uses and gratification of college students when they use Facebook and the relationship between these. There are five gratifications which we apply through uses and gratifications theory are enhance social interaction, get information of education, simple entertainment, escape from the stresses of daily life and also recognition.
Discussion of getting information of education
According to the data of Park, Kee and Valenzuela (2009), it shows that students join Facebook because of the need of obtain information about on-and off campus activities, to socialize with friends, to seek self-status and to find entertainment. Of the sample surveyed, more than 40% college students agree that it is convenient to get information about their course or subject on Facebook, only less than 20% college students disagree with it. In addition, there is more than 50%, which is half of the sample agree that it is convenient to get updates of their course or subjects. There are 30% of our sample agree that it is convenient to interact with their lectures about the course or subjects, and 40% choose medium in this. Furthermore, there are 75% of college students agree that it is convenient to interact with coursemates about the course or subjects on Facebook. Facebook can be used as an educational environment, as it improves classroom practices and student involvement (Aydin, 2012).
Besides, the study of Lame, Ellison and Steinfield (2006) found that students who were likely to use Facebook to interact with their instructor in various way were more likely to collaborate using Facebook. In general, we found that most of the college students agree that it is convenient for them to get the information of education through using Facebook which is one of the gratifications in our study. The college students mostly use Facebook to interact with the lecturer, classmates, course mates to discuss the information of their course or subjects. The relationship of college students using Facebook and getting information of education, is as predicted, they use Facabook to fulfil the gratifications of getting information of education through interact with the lecturers and course mates at Facebook.
Discussion on Recognition
Closed-group Facebook pages are an invisible, virtual space that makes people more visible (Reid, 2011). Again from Reid (2011), Facebook provides access for students to engage in critical literacy activities where they reflect how the way they write on the page constructs their identities and diversity. Gratifications obtained from Facebook allow the users of the website to gain and maintain recognition from others – a social group or community – and satisfy their need to belong (Capua, 2012). The second gratification we examined in our study is college students use Facebook to gain recognition. In our study, we found that there are almost equal numbers of sample are agreeing and disagreeing that they share video, status, photo and others on Facebook to get people notice them, there are 30% college students agree with it and 33% of college students disagree with it. Moreover, there are more college students who disagree that they are posting video, status, photo and others to get attention as well as influence others. Only there is slightly more college students agree that they want to gain emotional support from others when posting video, status, photo and others on Facebook. This shows that most of the students of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College are not using Facebook to fulfil their gratification of gaining recognition.
Discussion on getting simple entertainment
In the study of Sheldon (2008), there is a significant number of students use Facebook for entertainment reasons, and there are also a larger proportion of students go to Facebook to pass time when they are bored or after receive an e-mail suggesting them that someone had posted on their Facebook site. Park, Kee and Valenzuela (2009) also mentioned that Facebook is mainly for entertainment needs. In our study, although there is more than half of the sample are disagreeing that they are using Facebook to play games, but there is a significant group that more than 80% of college students agree that they are using Facebook to view photos and more than 60% of college students agree that they are using Facebook to view videos. Further, there are a larger group of college students, 40% are agreeing that they use Facebook to view article. The college students use Facebook to gain simple entertainment like view photos, video and article, to kill the time and boredom. Entertainment and boredom were also prominent reasons for use social networking sites (Sponcil & Gitimu, 2010). The result of our study enhance this, as there are more than half amount of the sample are agreeing that they use Facebook to view photos, videos and articles. Other than getting simple entertainment to kill time, enhance social interaction by using Facebook is one of the main reasons for college students as well.
Discussion on enhancing social interaction
Secondly, is the relationship between college students using Facebook and enhance social interaction. According to past research, most of them found that most of the college students using Facebook to social with their family, friends, keep contacting with them and updating the information about them. Sheldon (2008) found that most of the students go to Facebook to maintain relationships with other people they know. The same purposes of keeping in touch with old friends, current friends and family members emerged as the highest use of social media (Ezumah, 2013).
Besides, in the study of Capua (2012) it shows that users employ social networking website mostly to keep in touch with friends and maintain relationships with geographically distant peers. Communicating with friends and family on social media sites was very common among college students and they use a variety ways to communicate like the common ways are wall posts and status updates, as well as private messages and posted photographs (Sponcil & Gitimu, 2010). In our study, we found that there are 30% of college students agree that they are using Facebook to meet new friends. Further, there are 75% of college students agree that they are using Facebook to keep in touch with friends or family. Most of them are using Facebook to interact with their friends and family, there are more than 70% of our sample agree with this.
We found that although not more than half of the samples agree that they are using Facebook to meet new friends, but most of them agree that they are using Facebook to interact and keep in touch with their friends and family. This shows that most of the college students are using Facebook to enhance social interaction, which is similar with the previous research in other countries.
Discussion of escape from the stresses of daily life
The data of the research of Dhaha and Igale (2013) shows that the youth of Somali need to obtain virtual companionship escape from the worries of the life by using Facebook. Although this study mentioned that the escape from the stresses of daily life is one of the gratifications fulfilled by college students when using Facebook, but there is slightly different with our study. Most of the college students in our research are disagreeing that such as there are 42% of sample disagree that they are using Facebook to escape from study problems and 50% of sample are disagreeing that they are using Facebook to escape from relationship problems. This shows that most of the college students in Tunku Abdul Rahman University College are not using Facebook to escape the stresses of daily life. On the other hand, most of the student agree that they are using Facebook to release stress from study problem, 43% of sample are agree with this, and 27% of sample are agreeing that they use Facebook to release stress from relationship problems. Therefore, most of the college students do not use Facebook to escape from stresses of daily life but they release stress and mostly release the stress of study problem.
Implication of Findings
Implications of findings on theory and practice are discussed in this section.
Implication on Theory
This study intended to elucidate the validity of the constructs in the Uses and Gratification Theory such as information of education, recognition, simply entertainment, enhance social interact and escape from the stresses of daily life as well as fulfilled by college students to using Facebook.
Result from this study revealed that all the individual perceptions to information of education, simply entertainment and enhance social interact different with recognition and escape from the stresses of daily life. Therefore, the effect size of the differences between information of education, simply entertainment and enhance social interact were high on OFTEN.
The three categories of the uses and gratification theory were high on OFTEN because there are the most usage for college students on Facebook and it is very effective for this study and researchers may use it to develop the new theory in future.
Implication on Practice
Findings of our study revealed that there are many college students are using Facebook to get information of education. We found that there are larger group of the college students are using Facebook to interact with their lecturer or course mates and get updates and information of course or subject. Facebook should be targeted as a useful tool to communicate within lecture and college students.
Limitations of Study
This study is not without any limitations. Firstly, it cannot be generalized to all college students of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College because the sample is convenient and the population is not well represented. The sample in this study are most of the students in Penang Branch Campus, the Kuala Lumpur Main Campus contain bigger population and also other branches in Kampar, Johor and so on. Secondly, there could be more equal level distribution, compared the three level in our demographics, there are 64% are age between 21-24 who are mostly enrolled in second year or higher level such as advanced diploma or degree, while the lower level, freshmen or first year of diploma who are probably between age 18-20 only consist 35% from our sample. Lastly is the accuracy and definition of our sample. In our research, we mainly focus to study the college students of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, we distribute the questionnaire through internet which cannot define the identity of the sample, we cannot identify whether they are the students of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.
Suggestions for Future Research
As mentioned above in the limitations of our study, future research can increase the number of the sample and include other branches or colleges. It can be more generalize to represent the college students in Malaysia with study the students from different states or colleges, and also increase other level of college student in different age. Other than that, an area of study worth exploring following this study is to examine the gratifications of enhance social interaction in further between college students maintain relationship with family and friends by using Facebook and develop serious, closer or romantic relationship. According to the research of Capua (2012), found that although private messages in Facebook allow the users to communicate confidentially , but still it not adequate enough to maintain serious relationships with people unless geographically distant because communication over Facebook seems to be seen as ‘cheap’ and low-effort. Therefore, future research can examine the relationship between the maintain relationship with friends or family and maintain serious relationship between closer partner by using Facebook.
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