Exploring the uses and gratification theory on Facebook and students: the motivation for use and its effects on undergraduate students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Ajimakin, Ifedayo Adesola.
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This study explored the tenets of the uses and gratification theory and how it relates to Facebook being a social media platform. The advent of technology, in particular the advent of social media sites becomes a daily part of human life. The prevalent use of this social media platform has increased and has now overtaken the traditional media (Gallion 2010). This study explored the uses and gratification theory’s orientation of Facebook use among undergraduate students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The purpose was to seek opinions from students on what motivated them to use Facebook, and analyse these motivations in relationship to the four major constructs of the UGT: sociability, information, self-seeking behaviour and entertainment factors. The study adopted a qualitative research method as it is the empirical approach of inquiry. It sampled the opinion of 24 undergraduate students within the ages of 18-24 with the aid of focus group discussion. Findings from the study argued that the factors of peer-pressure, , keeping in touch with friends, meeting new people, low cost of access and social surveillance were the key motivations for UKZN undergraduate students to adopt the use Facebook as a social media platform. The findings also indicated that personality difference among individuals is vital in the acceptance of Facebook as many students did not agree to using Facebook for building social relationship, accessing information and getting entertained. The study concluded that Facebook has significant meaning in the everyday life of a student, as it helps them maintain a balanced life, in education, providing a better social interaction space, identity expression and seeking valuable information.