New media and youth: differences in the use of social network sites between young men and women users.
In the first 10 years of the millennium, the world probably witnessed the most exciting developments in human history. The mobile phones that we saw in science-fiction movies; which are wireless, are small enough to fit our pockets, and which we can't live without; are a part of our daily lives today. The global network system called internet made information, news and entertainment common property for all the people of the world. The global village that Mc Luhan predicted came into life through internet. In this world, letters are sent to the receivers in just a few seconds using email; ordinary people become publishers; celebrities are born on the Internet; people that never see each other in person are chatting and falling in love on the Internet. This progress is happening so fast that in the last 10 years, some parts of our real lives are getting equivalents in the virtual world. One of this is the friendship, and our friends.
The social networks reveal the way friendships are headed. The most popular social network site in Turkey, and in the world, is Facebook. The founder even has a movie about his life. The site has 450 million users. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third crowded after China and India; but it would be the most cosmopolite.
This study focuses on high school students use of Facebook in the light of Technology Acceptance Model. Gender differences on Facebook usage preferences constitutes the main Research topic.
2. Conceptual Framework and Literature Review
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), was developed by Davis (1989) to understand the factors effecting people's intention to shop in internet. However, it is based on another theory, which is named as Theory of Reasoned Action. TRA was a socio-psychology based theory developed by, Fishbein and Ajzen (1975). According to TRA, social behaviors are related to individuals' attitudes; and the use of information technologies is affected by individual behavior (Davis, 1989; Lee et al., 2004:753; Dishaw et al., 2002: 1021) TRA, is developed by researchers to explain individuals' actions that is note by their free will; and it is used by researchers in lots of different studies (Olson and Zanna, 1993). Ajzen (1991) improved TRA and proposed the TPB (Theory of Planned Behavior) model, stating that the sole source of behavior is not free will, but some other factors come into play too, while behavior is shaped. However, the abstract concepts that are used in TRA, such as beliefs and values, made the theory weak. TAM was developed in response to the weaknesses in TRA and TPB theories.
After the model revealed, researchers tried to measure the limits of the model, and to see if it was really superior to TRA. Trying to improve the mode, Adams et al. made 5 different additions. They made changes when users accept word processors, graphics, spreadsheets, e-mail and v-mails. However, Davis applied TAM successfully when researching e-mail and text editors on 112 participants, in 1993. After Subramanian's similar studies in 1994, it is accepted that TAM is a simpler and useful model in researching the acceptance of computer technology, and it is superior to TRA. Adams, stated that Davis's Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease-of-use factors are valid in different information systems. Hendrickson et al. analysed these two variables in 1993 and in 1996 and concluded it is valid. Segars and Grover revealed the use of three variables in 1993, making the theory more effective. Szajna studied in 1994 that if TAM can measure future behaviors successfully. Davis and Venkatesh concluded that in addition to Szajna's findings, TAM is useful in gaining foresight about information system acceptance, in 1996. According to Igbaria et al. (1995), TAM is the most easy to use, simple and powerful model of information technology usage model. Similarly, Chau (1996) and, Saga and Zmud (1994) states that TAM is one of the most valid models about information technology usage.
This model is one of the most comprehensive models, and explains the acceptance of technology usage. According to Davis, to factors affect the acceptance:
1. Perceived Usefulness (PU)
2. Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU)
PU is the measure of the belief that by using a product, one can increase his or her job performance. PEOU refers to the degree to which users expect the technology does not require lots of effort (Davis, 1989:320). According to Keller (2005:302), PU is related to all types of increase in performance, and PEOU is related to learning the new technology with ease.
Gefen and Straub argued in 1997 that in accepting the information system, gender differences, social norms and structures has important effects on PU and PEOU. According to them, women are more affected by Subjective Norms and PEOU, while men are more affected by PU (Straub et al., 1997:5).
Venkatesh and Davis introduced TAM 2 in 2000 as the millennium version of TAM. According to them, external factors effecting the perception of usefulness are, experience, voluntariness, subjective norm, image, job relevance, output quality, and result demonstrability. The external variables of PEOU are antecedents (New technology as a game, sufficiency of new technology, external audit) and adaptations (Usability of new technology and its perception as entertaining). According to Venkatesh (2000) PEOU has a direct positive effect on the acceptance of information technology. In a study with Davis, they found out that Subjective Norms (SN) are effective on PEOU and behavioral intention (BI). Venkatesh, Morris and Ackerman's study in 2000 supported this finding. Especially, gender differences and social norms are the determining variables (Venkatesh et al., 2000). However, in another study of Venkatesh et al., in 2003, it is argued that SN does not affect BI. In the research after this, the number of correlations between PEOU and PU variables has been increased. For example, the relations between PEOU and past experience, education level, relations between workplace, and PU have been tried to found out. Added variables were:
3. Actual Usage (AU)
4. Attitude (A)
5. Subjective Norm (SN)
TAM, was highly criticized at first. Researchers tried to improve the model by adding different elements. Again, at first, actual usage (AU) was added to the model and proposed that BI can predict AU directly. AU is the frequency and intensity of individual's new technology usage. Generally, it is proposed that an individual's attitude to do something (A) can affect this person's behavior intention (BI) and in the end, this can lead to actual usage (AU) (Lee et al., 2007). However, according to this order, PU and PEOU variables can also affect A, and in the end, AU (Ma and Liu, 2004:60-63). Subjective Norms, compatibility, external factors are added in time. Compatibility variable affects PU and PEOU variables, which are affecting A, and in the end, BI. Subjective Norms are affected by the attitudes of people that are important to the individual (Ma et al., 2005). The effectiveness of Subjective norms is frequently argued by researchers (Azjen, 1988). Studies in different fields shows that especially children and teens are affected by important people to them, especially their friends (Aktas et al., 2011; Ugur, 2011; Gulerarslan, 2011). External factors are controllable and uncontrollable factors affecting technology use of the individual.
Although most of the studies show that PU and PEOU have a strong effect on BI, some researchers are comparing PU and PEOU in themselves. Most of the studies state that PEOU affects PU and PEOU is more effective than PU (Venkatesh, 2000; Teo, 2009). However, it must be noted that there are studies that claim the opposite (Adams et al., 1992; Ma and Liu, 2004). In addition to this, some studies state that PEOU and PU have separate effects on BI, in spite of themselves (Giner et al., 2009). In a study about women's attitudes toward shopping, PEOU was excluded and PU was used (Al-Magribi and Dennis, 2010).
Ventakesh and Bala proposed the TAM 3 model in 2008. The external factors defined as Individual Differences, System Characteristics, Social Influence and Facilitating Conditions have effects on PU and PEOU. PEOU affects PU and has effectiveness in the acceptance of both behaviors.
TAM has been used in many studies relating to information technology usage (Martinez-Torres et al., 2006). Some of these studies can explain the behaviors and usage intentions greatly. In some studies, TAM is used in various types of information technologies, including e-commerce (Gefen et al., 2003), internet usage (Shih, 2004), information technology usage of accountants (Ozer et al., 2010), usage of e-school software (Baglibel, et al., 2010), technology usage of scholars (Tarcan et al., 2010; Turan and Colakoglu, 2008), technology usage of secretaries (Turan and Cetinkaya, 2010), usage of new generation smartphones (Sek et al., 2010), text message usage (Ceccucci et al., 2010), and even usage of ATM's (Falorunso, 2010). In the meta-analysis study on TAM, King and He (2006) found 149 articles about TAM. This number shows the acceptance of TAM model.
3. Research Subject and Importance
Facebook has been the most popular tool for socializing in the recent years. Young or old, many people make different friends on Facebook. People can create virtual friendships and virtual relationships with other people far from their country. In some cases, these virtual friendships become real by meeting in person, attending to events, taking action or even getting married. In Tunis and Egypt, government's ban on other communication devices led people to get organized in platforms like Facebook. Facebook is getting stronger and stronger every day and it has become a part of our daily lives. Researchers are aware of these trends and researching every aspect of Facebook. Pempek et al (2009) studied collage students' Facebook experience, Kirshner and Karpinski (2010) researched Facebook and its relation to academic performance, Nosko et al. (2010) studied user profiles as a way to express themselves, Ross et al. (2009) researched Facebook usage and personal motivations. According to October-December 2010 data of SciVerse, 25 out of 13 most reviewed articles are about social networks, especially Facebook.
Facebook is a solution to teenagers who have communication problems in their puberty ages. The site is spreading among them rapidly. The age limit of 13 is not enough to stop teens and children to create accounts. Even elementary school children have Facebook accounts. Especially high school teenagers, who are in the process of developing their characters, must be researched. The criteria affecting the use of Facebook among girls and boys are important and must be researched.
4. Method, Universe and Sample
The method of the research is survey, which is suitable for TAM. Facebook is an Internet technology, so it is suitable to research based on TAM. In this study, in addition to demographics questions, we have asked questions under six topics. The first one is PU, second one is PEOU, third one is RELE, fourth one is attitude (A), fifth one is perceived performance (PP) and the last one is BI. Research questions are mostly descriptive. Because of this, there is no hypothesis. We tried to reveal differences between genders. The research universe consists of high school teenagers. Sample consists of the second and third year students of Anadolu Communications Business School (Anadolu Iletisim Meslek Lisesi) in Konya. All of the students in the classes have been surveyed. This school is selected because, it represents the high school teenagers and because there students are the communication professionals of the future, and determining their views are important. First year student are not included because they are new to the school. 120 questionnaires were filled, and out of these, 108 were usable. SPSS software used to process the data. The same person conducted the survey and entered the data, so there is no need to test this person's reliability.
5. Findings and Discussion
Table 1: Age F % 15 3 2,8 16 33 30,6 17 65 60,2 18 7 6,5 Total 108 100,0 Statistics (Age) N Valid 108 Missing 0 Mean 16,7037 Median 17,0000 Mode 17,00 Std. Deviation ,63037 Variance ,397 Range 3,00 Minimum 15,00 Maximum 18,00 Sum 1804,00 Table 2: Class F % V % 10 45 41,7 42,1 11 62 57,4 57,9 TOTAL 107 99,1 100,0 Invalid ,00 1 ,9 TOTAL 108 100,0 Table 3: Gender F % Female 61 56,5 Male 47 43,5 TOTAL 108 100,0 Table 4: Do you have a computer in your house? X gender Yes No Total Gender Female 49 12 61 80,3% 19,7% 100,0% Male 43 4 47 91,5% 8,5% 100,0% Total 92 16 108 85,2% 14,8% 100,0% 80,3% of females and 91,5% of males have a computer in their house. There is no significant relationship among genders ([chi square]=2,621, sd=1, p=,105). Table 5: Do you have internet access in your house? X gender Yes No Total Gender Female 41 20 61 67,2% 32,8% 100,0% Male 35 11 46 76,1% 23,9% 100,0% Total 76 31 107 71,0% 29,0% 100,0%
67,2% of the females and 76,1% of the males have internet Access in their houses. Although the numbers are low relative to computer ownership, it can be said that most of the students have internet access ([chi square]=1,004, sd=1, p=,316).
Table 6: How many times accessing internet in a week x gender Everyday Every Once in Once in Total other day 3 days week Gender Female 23 6 10 20 59 39,0% 10,2% 16,9% 33,9% 100,0% Male 31 4 4 7 46 67,4% 8,7% 8,7% 15,2% 100,0% Total 54 10 14 27 105 51,4% 9,5% 13,3% 25,7% 100,0%
Males stating "everyday" 67.4% and females are 39%. There is significant relationship between genders ([chi square]=8,943, sd=3, p=,030).
Table 7: How many hours is he or she using internet daily x gender 1-2 hours 3-4 hours 5-6 7 hours Total hours or more Gender Female 13 11 3 7 34 38,2% 32,4% 8,8% 20,6% 100,0% Male 4 5 13 13 35 11,4% 14,3% 37,1% 37,1% 100,0% Total 17 16 16 20 69 24,6% 23,2% 23,2% 29,0% 100,0%
Males spend more time on the internet. They use internet for 5-6 hours, or 7 hours or more. Females use internet for 1-2 hours or 3-4 hours ([chi square]=15,053, sd=3, p=,002).
Table 8: A member of Facebook x gender Yes No Total Gender Female 52 9 61 85,2% 14,8% 100,0% Male 45 0 45 100,0% ,0% 100,0% Total 97 9 106 91,5% 8,5% 100,0%
There is a significant correlation between genders, according to membership statistics ([chi square]=7,225, sd=1,p=,007).
Table 9: How many friends on Facebook x gender 0-50 51-100 101-200 201 or more Total Gender Female 5 10 17 21 53 9,4% 18,9% 32,1% 39,6% 100,0% Male 2 5 9 30 46 4,3% 10,9% 19,6% 65,2% 100,0% Total 7 15 26 51 99 7,1% 15,2% 26,3% 51,5% 100,0%
65,2% of males and 39,6% of females have more than 201 friends ([chi square]=6,540, sd=3, p=,088).
Table 10: Interacts with how many of his or her Facebook friends in real life x gender All 3/4 1/2 1/4 and less Total Gender Female 3 15 23 13 54 5,6% 27,8% 42,6% 24,1% 100,0% Male 4 12 19 11 46 8,7% 26,1% 41,3% 23,9% 100,0% Total 7 27 42 24 100 7,0% 27,0% 42,0% 24,0% 100,0%
It is interesting to note that only 8,7% of males and 5,6% of females interact with all of their Facebook friends ([chi square]=,386, sd=3, p=,943).
Table 11: Gender and Total Points T TEST Gender N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean FACE(PU)TOP Female 61 17,0984 6,13108 ,78500 Male 43 20,3721 5,68215 ,86652 FACE(PEOU)TOP Female 61 15,6721 2,91388 ,37308 Male 47 16,8723 2,83317 ,41326 FACE(RELE)TOP Female 61 19,5574 6,25972 ,80148 Male 45 22,2444 5,81204 ,86641 FACE(A)TOP Female 59 16,3051 6,34702 ,82631 Male 46 19,6957 6,01801 ,88731 FACE(PP)TOP Female 61 8,6230 3,25148 ,41631 Male 46 9,9783 2,67074 ,39378 FACE(SN)TOP Female 61 12,9836 3,62166 ,46371 Male 47 15,5745 3,11200 ,45393
The sig (2-tailed) in the T Test table is all lower than 0,05. According to this finding, there is significant relationships between PU, PEOU, RELE, A, PP and SN. According to the table, it can be said that males have a more positive attitude toward Facebook.
Table 12: Facebook's Perceived Usefulness According to Gender PERCEIVED USEFULNESS [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] PU1 Facebook helps to create 9,581(a) better friendships. PU2 Facebook makes it easy to 5,797(a) communicate with my friends. PU3 Facebook contributes to my 12,216(a) school life. PU4 It is easier for me to 7,852(a) communicate with my friends through Facebook, than communicating in person. PU5 Facebook helps met to know my 6,850(a) friends better. PU6 Friendships that are created 11,723(a) by Facebook are more real than the old friendships. PU7 Friendships that are created 5,717(a) by Facebook are more permanent than the old friendships. PERCEIVED USEFULNESS sd. p (sig.) PU1 Facebook helps to create 4 ,048 better friendships. PU2 Facebook makes it easy to 4 ,215 communicate with my friends. PU3 Facebook contributes to my 4 ,016 school life. PU4 It is easier for me to 4 ,097 communicate with my friends through Facebook, than communicating in person. PU5 Facebook helps met to know my 4 ,144 friends better. PU6 Friendships that are created 4 ,020 by Facebook are more real than the old friendships. PU7 Friendships that are created 4 ,221 by Facebook are more permanent than the old friendships.
PU1, PU3 and PU6 have significant relationship according to gender. Males believe that Facebook friendships are more real than real-life relationships. According to them, Facebook has a positive effect on school life.
Table 13: Facebook's Perceived Ease of Use According to Gender PERCEIVED EASE OF USE [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] PEOU1 It is easy to join Facebook 9,224(a) PEOU2 It is easy to manage a 7,856(a) Facebook profile and understand menus. PEOU3 It is easy to add new 6,600(a) friends in Facebook PEOU4 I can have new friends 11,233(a) without any trouble in Facebook. PERCEIVED EASE OF USE sd. p (sig.) PEOU1 It is easy to join Facebook 4 ,056 PEOU2 It is easy to manage a 4 ,097 Facebook profile and understand menus. PEOU3 It is easy to add new 4 ,159 friends in Facebook PEOU4 I can have new friends 4 ,024 without any trouble in Facebook.
In terms of perceived usefulness, PEOU4 question has a significant relationship. More of the males state that they can find new friends without any difficulty.
Table 14: Information Need Factor According to Gender RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION NEEDS [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] RELE1 I learn about other 5,602(a) people by using Facebook. RELE2 I learn about my friends 4,162(a) by using Facebook. RELE3 I learnt lots of things 1,427(a) that I didn't know about my friends by using Facebook. RELE4 By using Facebook, I have 11,232(a) accessed private information about my friends. RELE5 By using Facebook, I have 2,475(a) accessed information about the people i want to know. RELE6 I know my friends better 4,324(a) by using Facebook. RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION NEEDS sd. p (sig.) RELE1 I learn about other 4 ,231 people by using Facebook. RELE2 I learn about my friends 4 ,385 by using Facebook. RELE3 I learnt lots of things 4 ,839 that I didn't know about my friends by using Facebook. RELE4 By using Facebook, I have 4 ,024 accessed private information about my friends. RELE5 By using Facebook, I have 4 ,649 accessed information about the people i want to know. RELE6 I know my friends better 4 ,364 by using Facebook.
The only significant relationship is on RELE4 question. According to this, males are accessing private information of their friends more than females.
Table 15: Attitude According to Gender ATTITUDE TOWARDS USING THE [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] sd. FACEBOOK A1 I like to use Facebook. 6,296(a) 4 A2 It is a pleasure to use 4,983(a) 4 Facebook for me. A3 Using Facebook is 7,389(a) 4 indispensable for me. A4 I can't think about a 7,276(a) 4 life without Facebook. A5 Facebook makes my 20,031(a) 4 friendships better. A6 By using Facebook, I'm 18,634(a) 4 creating new and better friendships. ATTITUDE TOWARDS USING THE p (sig.) FACEBOOK A1 I like to use Facebook. ,178 A2 It is a pleasure to use ,289 Facebook for me. A3 Using Facebook is ,117 indispensable for me. A4 I can't think about a ,122 life without Facebook. A5 Facebook makes my ,000 friendships better. A6 By using Facebook, I'm ,001 creating new and better friendships.
Male and female high school students differ in attitudes against Facebook. Both hare positive.
Table 16: Perceived Performance According to Gender PERCEIVED PERFORMANCE [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] sd. PP1 I'm using Facebook to 8,147 4 improve my communication with my friends. PP2 I'm glad that Facebook 7,099(a) 4 increases my knowledge about my friends. PP3 I think Facebook 3,287(a) 4 increases my popularity among my friends. PERCEIVED PERFORMANCE p (sig.) PP1 I'm using Facebook to ,086 improve my communication with my friends. PP2 I'm glad that Facebook ,131 increases my knowledge about my friends. PP3 I think Facebook ,511 increases my popularity among my friends.
Although PP1, PP2 and PP3 do not present significant relationship among genders, it can be said that high school students believe that Facebook has a role in their personal performance and popularity.
Table 17: Perceived Subjective Norms According to Gender SUBJECTIVE NORM [[chi square].sup.(chi square)] sd. SN1 All my friends are 11,465(a) 4 using Facebook. SN2 My close friends are 4,593(a) 4 using Facebook. SN3 People whom are 19,865(a) 4 important for me, expects me to use Facebook. SUBJECTIVE NORM p (sig.) SN1 All my friends are ,022 using Facebook. SN2 My close friends are ,332 using Facebook. SN3 People whom are ,001 important for me, expects me to use Facebook.
There is a significant correlation between SN1 and SN3, which are listed under Subjective Norms title. More males than females believe that all of their friends are using Facebook. They also believe more than females that important people for them must have a Facebook account. High school youth are affected by their peers.
Facebook, which is a web site that became a part of our daily lives, is spreading fastest among youth. While spreading, it can be said that youth are advantaged in the acceptance of new technology. However, having a Facebook account is similar to having an e-mail address or mobile phone. High school teenagers are accessing Internet almost every day. Males spend more time than females, but the spent time is more than hours. Internet, which is a source of information and communication, is now used for entertainment and socialization.
Only a small portion of the students interact with all of their Facebook friends. 90% have a profile filled with people that they have never seen in person. Some even believe Facebook friendship is more real than the old friendships. For males, being on Facebook is a source of popularity. It is a tool to learn more about friends, and to learn more about the personal lives of other people. Even these students admit that Facebook does not help with their homework, school performance or their future jobs, a good portion of them believe that there is no life without Facebook.
Females are a little behind in Facebook compared to males, but they are close. They are careful about the number of their Facebook friends, and they do not think Facebook is indispensable. They are very cautious about Facebook.
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KAZIM TOLGA GUREL
Hasret Aktas graduated from the Faculty of Communication at Marmara University in 1990. For his Master's degree, awarded in 1996, he conducted research on the 'Political Communication'. His PhD research centered around the "Communication Politics in the Example of the Election Campaigns of Parties". He has three books about 'Political communication on the Net', 'Internet Advertising' and several articles about 'Child and Communication', 'Political Communication on the Net,' 'New Communication Technologies', ... Currently he is an assistant professor and a member of Selcuk University Communication Faculty.
Mevlut Akyol graduated from the Faculty of Communication at Selcuk University in 2001. For his Master's degree, awarded in 2004, he conducted research on the 'TV Advertising Technology'. His Ph.D. research was focused on the 'A Study on "Advergame" as a Means of Brand Communications: Its Role over Creating Brand Awareness' and he has several articles about new advertisement media and children. Currently he is an assistant professor and a member of Inonu University Communication Faculty.
Halit Kartal graduated from the Faculty of Communication Selcuk University in 2006. For his Master's degree, awarded in 2011, he conducted research on the 'The Use of Visual Language on Sports Broadcasting. He conducts research on Sports and Media, New Communication Technologies', Technological Acceptance Model on Television Broadcasting. Currently, he is a Research Assistant at Selcuk University, the Faculty of Communication.
Kazim Tolga Gurel completed his Master's degree and started research at Selcuk University. He received a doctorate degree from the same university. He has written four books so far--two of them have already been published. He has several articles about mass communication and political philosophy. Furthermore he has been writing about streets in Istanbul metropolis, postmodern life styles and opposite actions to global capitalism in newspapers and public journals. He is an activist too.
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|Author:||Aktas, Hasret; Akyol, Mevlut; Kartal, Halit; Gurel, Kazim Tolga|
|Publication:||Journal of Research in Gender Studies|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2014|
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