Examining social media usage: Technology clusters and social network site membership

22 Jan 2009

The popularization of ?social media? has raised questions of how and why young people use these various technologies in their daily lives. This exploratory study proposes a classification system based on Rogers? concept of technology clusters, which posits that likelihood of adoption is based around similar perceived characteristics of a technology or medium. Results from a survey administered to 401 undergraduates at a large southern university indicated that social and non?social technology cluster use is correlated with psychological, affective, and behavioral factors (extroversion, self?disclosure, computer anxiety and self?efficacy). One particularly popular type of ?many?to?many? social media is the social network site (SNS). MySpace members were significantly more likely to use both other many?to?many social technologies as well as one?to?many. Gender differences were also found, as MySpace members were more likely to be female, and females had significantly higher levels of extroversion and self?disclosure. Implications for future research, marketing efforts, and online safety are discussed.

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