Dec 12, 2019 in Case Studies

Social Informatics Research Design

Question:

What are the motives for social media use among teenagers?

  • Which major advantages and disadvantages of social networking platforms do teenagers see?
  • Does internet use cause adolescents to become socially isolated and depressed?
  • Do teenagers use social network sites as an anonymous identity playground?
  • How often do teenagers visit social networking sites?

Background

The research question in this study relates to social informatics in that it shall study the motives behind the use of ICT by a section of the society. Most researches have shown that teenagers use the social media than any other age group and that they spend much more time on social media. In addition, there is a general notion and perspective that teenage use of social networking sites is for negative reasons. This research will provide an understanding of the behavior of teenagers on social media sites. The study will also answer other more specific questions related to teenagers and social media. These specific research questions will guide the study in identifying specific attributes of teenager’s engagement with social media. 

 

Methods

To analyze teenagers' activities in social media platforms, in an associate connection in which home internet use is across the board, the research will sample from a generally homogeneous mid-to high-financial status populace. The study will select 400 teenagers from public middle schools and public high schools. Participants will be ages between 9 years and 18 years and each participant will complete a questionnaire their classroom. The survey will first ask the participants if they are members of listed social media sites. The questionnaire will also gather data on the motives they have on enrolling in social media sites, the time they spend in such sites, whether they enjoy being alone but online and what they think are the pros and cons of using the social media platforms. The participants will fill the questionnaires individually so that they can be free to provide their own personal experiences. They will receive assurance that the responses they provide shall be private, as they will not write their names on the questionnaires.

For the question on whether participants are members of a social network site, the survey will provide a bivariate variable with a yes and no option. For the questions on of motivation, the research will use participants score for assessing the motives of teenagers in using social media. There shall be a seven-point range of options ranging from strongly disagrees to an option of strongly agree. This range of options will consider different motives behind usage of social media by teenagers. For the frequency of using social media, participants will approximate the number times they log in to social media sites based on a normal weekday and on an average weekend. Next, the participants will provide an estimation of the length of time they spend on their preferred social networking sites. The questionnaire will also require them to list what they think are the pros and cons of social media

Using questionnaires as a data collection tool for this study will ensure comprehensive answering of the research questions. Questionnaires ensure that the recruitment of participants is easy. In addition, for social informatics, questionnaires will collect qualitative data on patterns of use, success of use, user needs, expectations and perspectives. Moreover, questionnaires are best in collecting qualitative data on frequencies. For this study, this method of data collection will necessitate obtaining responses directly from personal experiences. In terms of follow-up study, administering questionnaires usually provides exploratory findings. For teenagers, questionnaires are best since the participants will not influence one another or intimidate one another. This is because each participant will fill his or her questionnaire privately. 

Hypothesis

The first aim of this survey is to find out which percentage of teenagers are members of a social networking sites. This will lead to an assessment of the various motives that lead teenagers to be members of social networking sites. To support this assessment, the study will evaluate the perceptions of teenagers on the advantages and disadvantages of using social media. In addition, the survey will study the frequency of social media use by teenagers, a factor that points to the motives behind the usage. The hypothesis of this study will tend to show that on average, the reasons that motivate teenagers to use social media are not wholly justifiable or acceptable in the modern society. 

Previous researches and observations show that teenagers generally spend more time in social networking sites than older individuals. This is because they are usually in the stage where they want to look for identity either internally or externally. One expectation of finding from this research is a higher frequency in social media usage among teenagers within a week. To arrive to this conclusion, the study will use utilizes a multinomial logistic regression model to forecast teenagers’ preferences for social networking sites. The hypothesis will also posit that the psychosocial factors of self–esteem and identity seeking are highly predictive of teenagers’ motives for using social media.

In general, using internet and spending more time online shapes the thoughts and actions of teenagers and youths. This is because; they are in the stage where they copy almost everything in a quest for self-realization. The hypothesis in this study shall assert that teenagers develop repulsiveness toward other people and tend to like spending much time in social networking sites rather than in physical social gatherings. Teenagers generally think that meetings and other gatherings waste their time and they become easily bored. The hypothesis will also predict that a significant motive for teenagers visiting social networking sites would be to search for a form of simulated friendship. The hypothesis also predicts the majority of teenagers who are members of social networking sites report maintaining contact with their peer groups as their main motive.

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