Exploring the Uses and Gratifications of Social Media among Undergraduates: Evidence from Nigeria
AbstractThis study examines the use of social media among undergraduates using the microscope of the Uses and Gratification Theory. The study seeks to determine the kinds of social media sites and services undergraduates of a selected university in South West Nigeria use in order to establish the motivations that lead the students to adopt the various social networking sites, and also to find out the gratifications that the students seek using the service. The study employs Focus Group Discussion research design to probe the research questions drawn for the study. One of the key findings of this study is that the participants use not less than 2 and not more than 8 social networking sites. Most participants also admit that peer influence is a major motivation, among others, for adopting some of the social network sites. While Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat top the chart on the ranking of the most frequently used social network sites, gratifications sought include information seeking, social interaction, self-expression and self profiling. Two key recommendations\are offered flowing from the findings. First, it is recommended that future studies adopt a quantitative research design to find out the gratifications that undergraduates seek for using social network sites and what they obtain on a larger scale. Second, it is suggested that other research studies should probe uses and gratifications of specific social media platforms among Nigerian youths and undergraduates so that Nigerian researches could contribute to the emerging scientific discourse of Uses and Gratifications globally.