Frank Mitchell – Meaning Of The Media

Abstract
The following research information gives insight into how social media plays a part in society today. The demographics studied are organized and cross-referenced between three categories including age, gender, and relationship status. These demographics were chosen because it is thought that each one plays an important part when researching the amount of time spent on social media. The preliminary research observation it appears that the millennial generation believes their phones are a part of them and panic anytime something happens to it, this topic seemed to fit the present time and state of face-to-face communication or personal communication interaction.. It is hypothesized that women use social media more than men in order to avoid face-to-face interaction with others. The findings prove that the above stated hypothesis is true and not by the percentage expected. According to the research, women showed not only to be in the higher percentage of the population that participated in the survey – they also ranked higher in their use of social media by a considerable margin. The question guiding this research is how is social media related to what FAMU students think about interacting with each other in person? After reviewing the information provided, the next step is not to see if an individual is dependent upon social media but the true question is, is how dependent is a person on their phone.
Introduction
Imagine a society where man avoided face-to-face communication and where nobody knew how to speak. Imagine a society where face-to-face communication is non-existent and man walked through life without uttering a word. We have seen things like this in movies where man appears to be a drone going from point A to point B with very little interaction with his fellow man and his environment. Now, that doesn’t seem that bad does it? Actually, yes it does appear to be bad for man not to personally interact with his fellow man and his environment. Now, imagine a world where phones weren’t invented and Steve Jobs was never born to further the use of technology. Did that scare you? For some individuals it does because their world is relies heavily on use of technology via their IPhone. Everything is on their phone, contacts, emails, pictures of others, pictures of themselves, job alerts, but most importantly their connection with people and the environment. It’s a shame that people cannot walk outside and speak. It’s a shame that playing outside is slowly becoming a thing of the past. When telling a child to go outside and play, they question it because they rather stay inside and play with their Nintendo Wii. Some researchers contribute obesity to the cheap prices of fast food. But, its more than this, research has shown that children need to move, play and interact with other children to help curve the obesity issue. Although obesity is not the focus of the research, it is true that the evolution of technology, online gaming, unhealthy eating and a lack of interacting with their environment (playtime) are direct causes to child obesity. However, for the instant research and findings, it is true that the use of technology has created a dependence on utilizing social media via cell phones that is being woven into the social fabric leading to the deterioration of personal communication. Sadly, parents of the millennials are becoming okay with their children staying distant from the outside world (notwithstanding the fact that the world has become a more complex and dangerous place) and playing on their phone and tablet devices that they receive at an early age.
Although it seems okay for children to have phones at such an early age, it diminishes the time they can need to develop their communication, coping and personal interaction skills. When trying to understand why a child cannot speak well or hold a conversation without looking at their phone, take into consideration the world around them. Having grown up in a technologically advanced society it convinces one not to appreciate those things that are not man-made such as nature. Framing a child’s mind around the use and dependence on technology has a rippling effect. It is as if you are throwing a pebble into a pond but the pebble is the innocence of the child and the pond is society. Eyes are said to be windows to the soul, however, in today’s world nobody knows the color of anyone’s eyes because everyone is constantly looking down at their phones or other electronic devices. Growing up, the punishment of a child was that they couldn’t go outside and play. Things have changed in today’s times because the punishment for a child is the lost of the use of their phones and electronic devices. As a result of these growing up changes one cannot go enjoy the day and the sunlight without letting social media know their every move because it is important.
Communication is becoming a lost art that soon will leave man unable to understood nor understand his environment. Children are being educated, encouraged and trained to be more tech savvy so that they become more cerebral in scientific fields and less personal with other people and the environment. This sweeping evolution is growing at a rapid pace so much so that it is even reaching the older generation. Who knew that it would come a time where the only way to speak to your very own grandmother is if she sent you a message on Facebook. Is this truly a world someone would want to live in? The idea that social media is taking over communication in our generation is a very scary sight but is not too far-fetched. While walking around any campus university it is seen that a majority of students are on their cell phones using a social media website/app such as Instagram, twitter, snapchat, or tinder in order to communicate with other students that attend the same university.
The only time college students begin to appreciate communication is when they are on the verge of failing a class and miraculously find the teacher. Working on communication skills before they are needed is essential in getting where you want to be. It is thought that “speaking” on social media is considered personal communication. The main thing missing in this personal interaction is the person. The term “catfish” has been brought into the world that tends to meet people via social media. Having not seen someone in person can only leave you to wonder who they really are and are they who they say there are in person. Although it is sometimes difficult to read someone in person, online interaction is giving someone an opportunity to show you who they believe themselves to be and want you to see. It allows them to mask themselves and remove any character and personal flaws from the exchange. The use of social media removes the integrity, trust, values, and respect which are the fundamentals of relationship building. This transition into the world outside of social media in which body language, facial expression and tone of voice is the key in a world the social media addicts are not used to. Body language, facial expression and tone of voice are the make or break of a conversation that most try to avoid via text, DM (direct message), or email. The lack of face-to-face interaction prevents students from speaking to professors because there body language and facial expression tells the professor more than their mouth does. What college students do not understand, if a professor sees that they are trying and genuinely care then, they may get the grade they deserve. However, if a student chooses to interact with the professor via email and social media only without speaking with them in class or interacting in class discussion then, the professor at the end of the semester may not be as favorable with helping the student as they would if the opposite were done. This is something learned as one matures which unfortunately is not something one can test in a survey and have consistent feedback.
Some people believe that their entire day needs to be placed on social media then, they get upset when everyone knows their business. If you let social media control your every move it may play a part in the fact that you may not have a next move. With social media any given person can be monitored by another which could also pose a problem for future employment. In todays hiring process, applicants must be aware that when applying for a job one may be asked for the names of their social media accounts by future employers to determine how that person may fit into the work environment. The employers in essence want to see how the individual acts with friends, connections and what is the communication like within the parameters of the social media environment. This gives the hiring staff an opportunity to develop an idea of how the applicant may respond, act and behave in a working environment. In short, employers are looking for any red flags that can alert them of a potential problem or conflict before they make a selection and offer. So, while social media use is in the minds of users apart of their fabric it could be a barrier when it comes to employment opportunities. The purpose of the research is to grasp a better understanding on the impact that social media has on face-to-face interaction.
Literature Review

History of Social Networking
The beginning of social networking appeared in 1997 and was known as Six Degrees (Plymale, 2012). According to the Eastern Michigan University Public Relations Student Society of America, Six Degrees was created by Andrew Weinreich based on the theory that everyone could be connected to each other by six degrees of separation. The site lasted for four years and was ahead of its time. At the peak of the site, Six Degrees had over a million users. Six Degrees is seen as the predecessor to MySpace and Facebook because it was the first site to combine personal profiles, instant messaging, friends list, and the opportunity to find friends. Having opened doors for similar sites, Six Degrees is looked at as the forefather of social media. Opening doors to the social media world also opened backdoors to the hidden problems that come with it thus planting a seed for social media addiction.

What is Social Networking?
Social networking can be defined as “online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users” (Akter, T. 2014). A very popular social networking site is Facebook. After Facebook was created a study was done by the Journal of the Communication Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota in which they organized the reasons why users go on Facebook. Twenty-two percent of those that took the survey stated that they used Facebook two times or more per day to distract themselves or procrastinate (Stern & Taylor, 2007 p. 9). Social networking gives individuals an opportunity to freely express themselves. Some millennials are uncomfortable speaking in person and move to social media as a form of protection from the outside world while steadily “being involved”. Those living in today’s society and using social media can be thought to be intrapersonal for the simple fact that when using social media, it almost seems as though they are having a conversation with themselves that other people can see via twitter and other blogging sites.

Raising the Future of Tomorrow
When watching children use social media and keeping up with technology it almost makes a parent proud because they see their child as smart but, in the same notion, they are subjecting their children to the dangers the world has to offer (i.e. cyberbullying, child molestation, child pornography and sexting). A major concern according to the American Academy of Pediatrics is Facebook depression. “The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents” (O’Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). Social media was thought to be a safe haven before the affects showed differently. “The glass of the computer was providing a window into the world where patrons could explore their ideas and thoughts without fear of physical or mental retribution; true identities were hidden and patrons could participate without being visible member” (Akter 2014, 458). What sticks out about this quote is the word “was” signifying that things have changed as social media and networking continue to progress. What we see now is a great concerned for cyberbullying “which is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and, tragically, suicide.” (Hinduja, & Patchin, 2010). This is one example of the severe impact that social media can have on pre-teens and teens. Another example of the severity of this impact can be seen from the “[r]ecent research indicat[ing] that there are frequent online expressions of offline behaviors, such as bullying, clique-forming, and sexual experimentation.” (Lenhart, 2010). While social media may be a way that provides an opportunity for those to express themselves, it also allows those same young folks to be bullied or attacked in the confines of their own home. According to the American Association of Suicidology, the suicide rates among 10-14 year olds have grown more than 50 percent over the last three decades.
Eighty-eight percent of teens using social media said that they have seen someone being bullied on a social network site and 12% of these teens said they saw it frequently. Yes, parents of the bullied speak to their children about bullying but the child that is doing the bullying tends not to have repercussions. The gateway social media gives to interacting with others needs to be monitored so that everyone is able to enjoy it without having their self-esteem lowered.

What’s going on?
According to research done by students at Stanford University, college students that demonstrate heavy chronic multitasking performed much more poorly in cognitive functioning, filtering, working memory management, and task switching than light media multitaskers (Pea 2012, 328). Constantly, trying to keep up with the changes of social media becomes exhausting and takes a toll on the body which is demonstrated in the cognitive functioning of these individuals. When one is able to manage their time wisely when it comes to the use of social media, they will have a better chance of becoming more productive.

Is it an addiction?
“I’m an addict. I just get lost in Facebook” replies a young mother when asked why she does not see herself able to help her daughter with her homework. (Kuss & Griffiths 2011). The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. It is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. This is to show that social media addiction is more alike alcohol and drug use as people may think or see it to be. “Other problems that merit awareness include internet addiction and concurrent sleep deprivation.” (Christakis & Moreno 2009). An addiction is a psychological craving that one cannot control. And, as we understand here from our research is that the misuse of social networking leads one to believe that it can/has become an addiction. Social networking sites were designed to give people the ability to communicate with others based on similar interest. However, when it comes to a point that one is neglecting their responsibilities and is becoming more interacting online then, something must be done. Social networking addiction has the classic addiction traits such as mood modifications and withdrawal symptoms. According to the International Journal Research of Public Health there are thought to be five types of internet addiction. Those addictions being computer addiction (i.e., computer game addiction), information overload (i.e., web surfing addiction), net compulsions (i.e., online gambling or online shopping addiction), cyber sexual addiction (i.e., online pornography or online sex addiction), and cyber-relationship addiction (i.e., an addiction to online relationships) (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). The article also stated that 170 US university students indicated that social factors were more important motivations for SNS usage than individual factors (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). The influence of peers can cause one to do things that are essentially unhealthy for them. Having the feeling that fitting in is a requirement places significant pressure on an individual.
Social media has a tendency to get someone to want something that someone else has such as shoes or even a high score on a game. Wanting to be like someone used to be seen as idolization, however, today it as seen as envy and a person only has the urge to take what another has. It is almost as if they will be feeding a craving. What they do not understand about the craving is if you continue to feed it, you will only become hungrier.

Generally, a person will not accept the fact that they are addicted to social media. However, this does not deny the fact that there is a possibility that they are. One reason for partial denial of addiction attests to the fact that the parameters of social media addiction are undetermined. Users do not wish to have a negative tag placed on them since the word addiction can be applied rather loosely. Studying patterns of others contributes to helping decide whether or not something can be considered an addiction. In a study done by Jaclyn Cabral of Elon University, it was concluded in a similar study that research participants were suffering from three and a half of the five tested components of addiction: salience, tolerance, the intrapsychic element of conflict and relapse. And, what was learned is that this generation has made social media their top priority and continues to need more usage in order to feel satisfied. Also, through her research Cabral concluded that there was a need for students to decrease their usage but they seemed unable to make that a reality (Cabral, 2011).

Characteristics of Generation Y
Generation Y is thought to be the protected generation with contributions such as September 9, 2001 which amped security around the United States. According to the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, Generation Y likes to work hands on and in groups. Generation Y cannot be forced into the mold of past generations which makes them unique (Ecleberry-Hunt & Tucciarone, 2011). By not being placed into the mold of past generations placed Generation Y at a disadvantage when it comes to communicating because they weren’t taught how. Nowadays parents give their children what they want so that they can stop whining. Generation Y is very spoiled so when placed into real world situations; some will look as lost as a lost puppy. Categorizing these traits with Generation Y builds an obstacle for the next generation to overcome. However, Generation Y is technology savvy thus making communicating via internet easier. When looking at the development for the future there will be a significant amount of jobs lost because everything will eventually become technology driven and virtual.

Generation Y
“A key formative characteristic for Gen Y is early and frequent exposure to technology, which has advantages and disadvantages in terms of cognitive, emotional, and social outcomes. For example, they rely heavily on technology for entertainment, to interact with others – and even for emotion regulation.” (Bolton et al, 2013). Interacting with others via social media is a good way to communicate but not the only way. What happens when there is a power outage or your phone dies? This is almost a life or death situation to Generation Y. Phones being so intricately woven into their fabric of everyday use thought of as an extension of the body and places people in unfamiliar territory when it dies or loses service. “A meta-analysis shows that narcissism (exaggerated self-perceptions of intelligence, academic reputation or attractiveness) in Gen Y college students is higher than in previous generations of students (Twenge, et al. 2008), suggesting that this feature will endure” (Bolton, et al, 2013). Social media makes some people carry themselves differently for fear of being placed or not placed on social media. Social media is all about maintaining a status in the eyes of the public those making one more aware of their appearance. Being self-absorbed sometimes strips one of opportunities that the future may provide.
“Social media users 18 to 34 years old are more likely than older age groups to prefer social media for interactions with acquaintances, friends and family. They are also more likely to value others opinions in social media and to feel important when they provide feedback about the brands or products they use” (Bolton, et al, 2013). Yes, computer literacy is important to have in this day and age but it should not be the only skill that Generation Y has because it is setting a foundation for future generations to build from. Not wanting to communicate or see someone because you are able to text them or direct message (DM) them on a social media website strips away the voice of the population. Social media should be used to reach the mass population not someone that is next to you. On a daily basis there is a joke being made about someone because they do not have the newest phone but there is rarely a time when someone stops to think that there is a possibility that they cannot afford it. Brands and products use social media to their advantage by advertising on social media knowing that someone is seeing it constantly. Since the social media era has grown, online shopping has been invented thus giving a person a reason not to leave their home to retrieve something they want such as clothes or food.

What is communication?
Communication is an art that can best defined as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and progression of ideas toward a mutually accepted direction or goal which has three basic elements (sender, message, receiver) and three articulative components (coding, interpreting, and feedback) (Akter 2014, 457) . What sticks out in this definition of communication is the thought that goes behind communicating which is being lost amongst the millennial generation. Communication skills are being lost because of the strong dependency on social media by the youth. It becomes difficult for one to interpret the meaning of a message without a tone, (facial expression and body language) to place with the message. With this being said, the feedback one may receive for a message may not be expected because they did not expect the receiver to interpret the message in that manner. The key aspects that social media takes away from communication is tone, facial expression and body language. By listening to the tone, watching the facial expression and looking at the body language the receiver can to tell if this is serious or a joke. If someone is hurting or trying to cover something up. However, with social media the receiver is devoid of knowing those aspects and everything they need to know about an individual is masked with online communications. Tone of voice, facial expression and body language shows receipt of the message, attentiveness, interest, care, concern and motivation or lack thereof.
According to the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, “Generation Y is likely to inappropriately multitask with technology. They are accustomed to using technology when they should be studying or are in class.” (Ecleberry-Hunt and Tucciarone, 2011). Those that are educating Generation Y should incorporate how they learn into the teaching in order to be more successful. Careful thought must be considered with raising Generation Y that involves going with the times to help advance the world but not losing the core values that come with communication such as respect, integrity, trust and courtesy. In order to instill these values into Generation Y, programs should be held that embrace a time before the world became revolved around technology. “Programs should champion “technology-free” periods and encourage opportunities to practice stillness and self-reflection through journaling or creative arts”. (Ecleberry-Hunt and Tucciarone, 2011).
Communication unfortunately is slowly becoming a thing of the past. When looking at the world, it is noticed but nobody cares enough to speak on this very idea. Today is all about finding the most convenient way to do something. Technology has grown to a point where things will be done for us. It sounds good on paper, but what happens when you begin to lose work? What happens when classes are taught by robots and teachers no longer have jobs? This society we live in now lacks personal care and interaction which cannot be healthy for anyone. Still, in our present time people are using online dating tools to meet a potential mate/partner because it doesn’t require any face-to-face personal interaction. And, because a social media site told them that they are able to find them a perfect match based on a complete profile of the person. Some individuals feel that online dating never really works out and thought to be a waste of time since it removes whether or not the people are attracted to one another. It takes away that spark that kindles the relationship and the building blocks of the chemistry that couples find. What people seem to forget is that the computer doesn’t have eyes, a heart or a conscience so it matches you based on certain characteristics developed via an online questionnaire. The results from this online data processing whereby the computer matches one person with another, does not take into account that sometimes opposites do attract. However, it is possible that someone is inventing a code that matches those unlike you as well. The way social media is used takes away the opportunity to genuinely meet and interact with someone.
Today, quality time is calling each other on facetime while one plays video games and the other does their make-up thus missing the point of communication. Humans have a tendency to protect themselves so communicating is simply telling another what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. This way of living keeps the population stagnant while the world is constantly changing around us. Communicating can be thought of as the eighth wonder of the world because everyone knows about it but not much can be achieved because some people are stuck in their own way and have chose not to communicate in person.
Social media gives an individual a lazy way to meet new friends but the question is now, how well do you have to know someone in order for them to be considered a “friend”. It is hypothesized that younger students are more likely to use social media as a primary source of interaction than older students.

Methodology
In order to examine how social media is related to what FAMU students think about interacting with others, we must first define what students consider to be interaction. Today, a majority of people use social media as a means of communication. This is all to say, the millennial generation has a different perspective of what interaction means. Preferring to speak in person is a rarity to Generation Y. It is more so the younger of the generation than the older individuals. Younger students are more likely to prefer social media as a means of communication than face-to-face.
Data Source
The data was gathered from a survey created in the Spring 2017 senior seminar class. The data was separated and organized using a survey tool called qualtrics, which is a Web-Based survey tool that allows people to create, collect, separate, and organize findings. This data source is available for all Florida A&M University faculty, staff, and graduate students. For the purpose of this study, qualtrics was made available to Dr. Brenda Hughes’ spring 2017 Senior Seminar in Sociology class at FAMU. Qualtrics is being used to capture student’s perceptions of their experiences. The purpose of qualtrics this semester is to separate the findings of the study when examining the attitudes of students related to various issues such as Islamophobia, world hunger, social networking, and the value of education. Upon collection of the data these subjects were separated and assigned to their given questions so that an analysis on the subject could be made.

Conceptual Discussion of Variables
The variables used for the Social Networking topic are age, gender, and relationship status. Age is separated into three categories, 18-21, 22-25, or 26 and older. Gender is broken up into male or female. Relationship status is broken up into three categories, single, in a committed relationship, and other which takes into account married, divorced, and widowed. These demographics help the examiner gain a better understanding of the importance of social media to FAMU students of these categories. Having this understanding will open doors for future studies on this topic to be discussed. The idea is that older single males do not use social media as much as any other combination these variables can make up. This will be seen upon further research.

Operational Discussion of  Variables
The demographics of participants were broken up into three categories, age, gender, and relationship status. In order to gain knowledge of the demographic characteristics of those being surveyed, the first question asked was “How old are you?” The answer choices were A. 18-21 B. 22-35 C. 26 or older. The following question for gender was “What is your gender?” with answer choices A. Male B. Female. The last question to tally up the demographics was “What is your relationship status?” with answer choices A. Single B. In a committed relationship C. Married. D. Divorced. E. Widowed. Since there was not a significant amount of married divorced or widowed individuals the statistics were re-coded to show “single”, “committed relationship” or “other”. In order to begin to collect data about the use of social media the first question asked was “Do you use social media?” The response choices to this was A. Yes B. No. Depending on the response, the data would have been altered. The following questions also had two options A. Yes B. No. Why do you use social media-Entertainment? Why do you use social media-News? Why do you use social media-Communication? Why do you use social media-Networking? Why do you use social media-Other? Do you use social media to update the status of your romantic relationships? Do you use social media as an excuse to not interact with others in public? Would you be willing to go a week without social media? Is the use of social media important to you? These answers were then placed in cross tabulations in order to identify with the independent variables which were age gender and relationship status. The results will be shown in the findings section.
Statistical Analysis
The cross tabulations were composed of close ended questions in order to compare demographic characteristics. The survey was taken by 311 students at Florida A&M University. Of the 311 students, 238 were female and 73 were male. There were also 213 students that were between the age of 18 and 21 and 98 students that were 22 or older. Also, there were 196 participants that were single, 101 that were in a committed relationship, 11 that were married, 2 that were divorced, and 1 that’s widowed. The cross tabulations showed the relation of the demographic characteristics (age, gender, relationship status) and the reasons why those being surveyed use social media such as updating relationship status, excuse not interacting nor communicating with others.
Table 1
Demographic Profile of Respondents

Age Frequency Percent
18-21 213 68.5
22-25 78 25.1
26 or Older 20 6.4

Gender
Male 73 23.5
Female 238 76.5

Relationship status
Single 196 63
In a committed relationship 101 32.5
Other 14 4.5

Findings
Finding one

The first question answered was “Do you use social media?” Of the surveyed population, 93.6% answered yes, while 6.4% answered no. After distinguishing whether the respondents used social media or not, there were 5 follow up reasons to discover why, establishing a cause-and-effect relationship for each behavior. The first reason, entertainment, was the most common, with a majority of respondents (88.1%) affirming that they did use social media for entertainment purposes; only 11.9% of respondents claimed to use social media for a different reason. The second most common reason for media use, with 66.9% claiming “yes” and 33.1% “no”, was news. The third most frequent reason with 81.4% of responses being yes and 18.6% being no, was communication. The fourth reason for using social media was networking, in which 71.7% said yes and 28.3% said no. The final and rarest reason for social media use was simplified into “other” with only 4.5% of respondents claiming “yes,” the other 95.5% claimed one of the other 4 previously listed reasons.

Table 2

Reasons for social media

Yes No Total
Do you use social media?

 

Social Media for Entertainment

Social Media for News

 

Social Media for Communication

Social Media for Networking

Social Media for Other 291
93.6%

274
88.1%

208
66.9%

253
81.4%

223
71.7%

14
4.5% 20
6.4%

37
11.9%

103
33.1%

58
18.6%

88
28.3%

297
95.5%
311
100%

311
100%

311
100%

311
100%

311
100%

311
100%
Finding two

There is minimal support for the hypothesis (Those in relationships are more likely to use social media to show the positive side of the relationship). The total number of valid responses for this question was 291. Of those respondents, 22.7% said “yes” when asked if they used social media to update the status of their relationship, while 77.3% said they did not. Of the 291 respondents, only 97 of them were in a committed relationship. Sixty-seven percent of those in a relationship said that they do not use social media to update their romantic relationship status.

Table 3

Do you use social media to update the status of your romantic relationships?

Single Committed
Relationship
Other Total
Do you use social media to update the status of your romantic relationships? Yes 31
16.9%
32
33.0%
3
27.3%
66
22.7%

No 152
83.1%
65
67.0%
8
72.7%)
225
77.3%

Total 183
100% 97
100% 11
(100%) 291
100%
Finding Three

These findings were inconclusive in supporting the hypothesis that women at FAMU use social media to distance themselves from the outside world (I would say as a means to avoid personal interactions). A majority of responders say that they do not use social media as an excuse to not interact with people. However, there were a higher percentage of women that answered “yes” to this question than men, which may be significant.
Table 4
Excuse not interacting with people per gender.

Male Female Total
Yes 21
30.9%
87
39.2%)
108
37.2%

No 47
69.1%
135
60.8%
182
62.8%

Total 68
(100%) 222
(100%) 290 (100%)

 

Finding 4

When asked if students use social media as a means of communication, the younger (define) students stated that they do not use it for that reason. The statistical data gathered is not valid to the hypothesis which states that younger students are more likely to use social media as a primary source of interaction than older students. The data in Table 5 shows that a majority of respondents, in all age categories do not use social media as a means of communication. This suggests that communication may not be significant when determining reasons for the noticeably higher social media use of respondents between the ages of 18-21.
Table 5
Use social media for communication per age

18-21 22 or Older Total
Yes 34
16.0%
24
24.5%
58
18.6%

No 179
84.0%
74
75.5%
253
81.4%

Total 213
100% 98
100% 311
100%

 

Conclusion
In conclusion, the data is not conclusive in supporting all the hypotheses presented at the beginning of this study. Although more women at FAMU use social media to as a justification to avoid interacting with those around them, a majority of both men and women stated that they do not use social media to avoid personal interaction. Younger students or students between the ages of 18-21, being the largest population represented in the study, did not use social media for communication purposes. Running cross tabulations did not show evidence supporting the hypothesis that younger students are more likely to use social media as a primary source of interaction than older students. Only 16% of students between the ages of 18 and 21 stated that they use social media as a source of communication. It is possible that they misunderstood or were not aware of the definition of communication or its relevance for the purpose of this study, and therefore they chose another answer. When approaching the topic of relationship, the hypothesis stated that those in relationships are more likely to use social media to show the positive side of the relationship. According to the statistics, 33% of those in a relationship stated that they use social media to update their relationship status.
Furthermore, in order to expand the research, surveying a more diverse group could possibly lead to a substantial enough change in how the questions will be answered to suggest more conclusive results. What was learned in the study is that women at FAMU use social media more than men. Another approach would look into further detail about how prevalent addiction to social media can be. Also, instead of using an electronic survey, an interview may be more appropriate, as it may allow for a better understanding of the interviewer’s questions and the interviewees’ responses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

1. Plymale, S. (2012). A Forefather of Social Media and SixDegrees.com (A.Weinreich), 1
2. Stern, L.A. & Taylor, K.T. (2007). Social Networking on Facebook, 14
From the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report, 127(4)
3. O’Keefe, G.S. & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families Int J. Environ Res Public Health
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