Sathyaprakash M. R., Associate Professor, Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta 577451, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India. Email: email@example.com
Vinay G. P., Lecturer, Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta 577451, Shivamogga, Karnataka, India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The lives of everyone is affected by social media. Our perception of the world and the information we consume are shifting as a result of its growing significance. Roughly 90% of teens, according to the majority of surveys, use social media. The goal of this study was to examine how postgraduate students used social networking applications and how they were feeling about them. It has been discovered that practically everyone actively uses at least one social networking platform. Sixty-two percent of them use their smartphones for more than ninety minutes a day, making them the most favored gadgets to access. The study material that the respondents obtained from such sites caught their interest, and they believed that the adverts were highly pertinent. In general, they expressed the opinion that social media information is beneficial to their social lives and that they play an important role in their lives.
Keywords: Internet, Post graduate students, Satisfaction, Social media apps, WhatsApp.
Social media refers to digital technology that facilitates the exchange of ideas and information via online communities and networks, including text and images. "A collection of Internet-based applications that expand upon the conceptual and technological underpinnings of Web 2.0, and that facilitate the production and dissemination of user-generated content" is the definition of social media. Moreover, social media rely on web- and mobile-based technology to build highly interactive platforms that let people share, co-create, discuss, and edit user-generated content with communities and individuals. Social media sites frequently feature user-generated content that promotes engagement through likes, shares, comments, and conversations.
They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between business organizations, communities, and individuals. These changes are the focus of the emerging field of techno self studies. Social media are different from traditional or industrial media in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media operates in a dialogic transmission system. This is in contrast to traditional media that operates under a monologic transmission model. There are many effects that stem from internet usage.
Social media first served as a platform for communication between friends and family, but it quickly grew to be used for a wide range of activities. The first network to hit one million active monthly members was MySpace in 2004. The introduction of Facebook and Twitter (now known as the X platform) in the years that followed caused an explosion in the use of social media. Companies flocked to these channels in order to rapidly connect with a worldwide audience.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, internet use diversified at a swift rate. With an almost total shift to the digital ecosystem, there was an increase in the use and frequency of streaming videos and music, consuming news, playing games, and ordering groceries and food online. With affordable data plans and budget brands across companies, smartphones remained the key device to the online world.
Social media access: As of October 2023, there were 5.3 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 65.7 percent of the global population. With over around 900 million internet users, India was the second largest online market in the world, behind China. Despite the large number and a consistent increase in accessibility, internet penetration in the country was just under 50 percent, below the worldwide average.
According to Internet Live Stats, India has 16.5 percent of the world's internet users, which is 48.7 percent of India's population (2023). According to Statista, India is the second largest online market in the world, with 692 million internet users. However, internet penetration in India is just under 50 percent which is below the global average. In 2023, India is having 692 million internet users, which is 48.7% of the population. As of 2022, the average data consumption per user per month in India was at 19.5 gigabytes. Given the latest survey available, in India there are about 470.1 million active social media users (Log in at least once in a month) in 2022. This is about 33.4 percent of the addressable demographics. Also, Through out 2021 to 2022, the number of users has grown 4.2 percent.
According to Boateng & Amankwaa (2016), social media has encouraged academic stakeholders such as students, teachers, and other educators to collaborate in order to advance knowledge production in instruction. Because of this, McLoughlin & Lee (2007) claim that using social media platforms has improved people's lives by fostering diversity among various social groups. Social media use is now widespread. Among the most widely used social media networks are Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Academics and institutions are always experimenting with social media tools for teamwork and knowledge creation. In today's higher education institutions, social media serves as a platform for students to interact with their teachers, fellow students, and researchers worldwide.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Social media applications are coming up with creative methods to integrate social media into people's daily lives, whether it be for communication, education, entertainment, or some other reason because of how big of an influence they have on people. Many research on social media have been conducted to learn more about user behaviour, impacts, addiction, and mediating effects.
Zedd, E.(2003) opined that Virginia college students frequently, and voluntarily, suck themselves into the never-ending web of social media ads. More than 98% of students in college use social media. Because of this, businesses find the age group to be a very profitable target. The rise of social media began in 2009 and has continued unabated. Students at college, who are typically between the ages of 18 and 22, are the first generation to grow up in a society where social media is pervasive. A CNN survey states that 12.6 is the average age at which youngsters begin using social media. This implies that businesses have been monitoring the data of college-age individuals since before they were even teens.
According to the Balamurugan and Thanuskodi (2019) survey, the most popular social networking sites to use are Facebook, which is cited by 34.9% of respondents, followed by WhatsApp (24.4%), and YouTube (12.9%), Instagram (9.2%), Twitter (7.4%), Linkedin (5.5%), Pinterest (1.8%), Google+ (3.7%), among respondents. The study on how Tamil Nadu university students utilise social networking sites reveals that 27.7 percent respondents use SNS for learning/ academic work, followed by 10.5 for obtaining information, 22 percent to share information, 12 percent to pass leisure time. Academic materials are used on social media to achieve academic excellence. Around 70 percent students opined SNS helps in participating in political discussions, volunteering with civil society.
An investigation was undertaken by Punjab University's Singh and Kumar (2013) to determine how often their research students used social networking. The investigation's findings show that a greater proportion of the respondents were noted to be aware of and to use social media in their research. Their investigation also reveals that, among the exploration researchers, Facebook is the most popular social networking site. According to Manjunatha (2013), 80% of students use social networking sites on a regular basis, which is an astounding amount of energy. The majority of Indian students (62.6%) used social networking sites for up to 10 hours per week, and it appears that 17.5% of students used them for more than 10 hours per week.
In order to determine if social networking sites are a benefit or a curse for the modern world, Sachdev (2015) gave a paper titled "Impact of social networking sites on the youth of India: A bird's Eye View." The study's conclusions demonstrated that identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, credibility, and participation are the five main concerns with regard to new social networking medium. Social networking sites allow us a platform to communicate with our loved ones, but they also pose a threat to Indian culture. A study by S Vanithamani (2021) in Coimbatore found that, around 40 percent respondents preferred facebook at first place and 51 percent are using 3 SM platforms. The reasons for use are ranked form 1 to 5 like this: decreasing communication skills, strong effect is there on academic performance, gathering information, education and problem faced on usage of social media.
The goal of Arora and Okunbor's (2015) study, "Social Networking Addiction; Are the Youth of Indian and United States Addicted?" was to look at how often individuals use Facebook and engage with social media sites. The percentage technique was employed for data analysis. It was discovered that respondents in both categories had accessed Facebook more than three times. The study came to the conclusion that using social networking sites excessively isn't regarded as a good thing. Phony self-image, body dysmorphic disorder, and cyberbullying are a few psychological effects of overuse of social media.
Literature revealed that youth and student communities are heavily depended on social media for their various needs. The present study mainly intended to identify the trends in social media apps usage among the student community of Kuvempu University. Specific objectives are like this,
To understand the usage patterns of social media applications.
To find the utility aspect of social media apps among students.
To measure the gratification aspects of social media apps usage among the respondents.
Study employs quantitative research technique i.e., survey method to examine the research objectives. Post graduate students of the Kuvempu University, situated at Shankaraghatta, Shimoga Dist. form the universe of the study. In 2022-23 academic year, 1756 students enrolled to the Post graduation departments located at Jnanasahyadri main campus. A sample size of 100 were taken where 50 male and 50 female respondents are drafted for the study which comprises of more than 5 percent of the population. Many of the studies which were taken a sample of 5 percent were successful in getting the accurate results. By using simple random sampling technique respondents were selected and a questionnaire was employed to collect the data. Responses were coded and decoded and presented with the help of percentage share under findings section.
The study uses the survey method, a quantitative research tool, to look at the goals of the research. The study's universe consists of postgraduate students (age group 19-22) at Kuvempu University, which is located in Shankaraghatta, Shimoga District. A questionnaire was used to gather data, and respondents were chosen using a simple random sample procedure. 1756 students registered in the post-graduation departments at Jnanasahyadri Main Campus for the 2022–2023 academic year. A sample size of 100 people was selected, representing more than 5 percent of the population, with 50 male and 50 female respondents selected for the study. Many of the research that used a 5% sample size were effective in obtaining precise results.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The study intended to understand the social media apps usage patterns among the Kuvempu University students, hence it researched conducted a survey to decode the trends. Study analyzed the preferred social media platforms, amount of time spent on it, purpose of usage and its gratification etc., In the following paragraphs results are interpreted along with discussion.
1. Social media usage pattens: Study first approached respondents to know weather they are using smartphone to access internet and social media. It is found that all the participants (100 percent) are using smartphones, 95 percent of them were android operating system based phones. Most preferred (42 percent) network was Jio in the Kuvempu University campus and the reason they provided is better coverage than its rivals. 89 percent of the respondents are accessing social media with their own internet data pack and rest are with university Wi-Fi.
The researcher asked respondents a few closed-ended questions in order to gain an understanding of the usage habits of social networking apps. Just 17 members use laptops or desktop computers, while smartphones account for the majority of respondents' preferred device (82%) for checking social media. Eight percent of the respondents get their internet via their own data packs. And just 17 percent of students used the free Wi-Fi that is offered around the campus.
Ninety-five percent of Kuvmepu University's postgraduate students who were chosen for the study check social media applications more than four times a day. The largest percentage (47%) checks seven to ten times a day, while 27 percent checks social media sites more than ten times a day.
When the participants were asked how long they often spend on social media, the researchers found that more than half (50%) shared an average of over 90 minutes, and another 27 percent shared an average of between 61 and 90 minutes. 60 percent of the respondents said they used social networking sites for more than 90 minutes a day on average. Smartphones are the most widely used device for social media access, and sample respondents time spending on social media is very close to the nation’s average i.e., 2.3 hours per day. But according to the journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, for improved physical and mental health, it is advised to utilise social media for not more than thirty minutes per day.
Utility aspects: Respondents are asked to identify the reason(s) for which they use social media the most in order to study the utility patterns of social media. According to a study, WhatsApp (99%) is the most widely used and favoured social media app, with Facebook (89%), YouTube (87%), Instagram (70%), and Twitter (27%), following closely behind. More than half of the respondents use social media for entertainment (58%), followed by keeping in contact with friends (54%), gathering research materials (40%) and exchanging audio and video (28%). When it comes to using social media for academic purposes, 61% of respondents said they pay attention to information on studies that they come across.
3. Gratification obtained: Research conducted to find out what type of satisfaction respondents are receiving from using social media. 38 percent of the respondents share the content with friends and groups, and over half of the respondents use the "like" option on social networking applications. Just 22% of the sample make issue-related comments.
Updates from people flood social media platforms. Here, respondents are asked if they intend to post or share their own updates or status. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed use social media updates as a means of emotional expression. Almost one-third of the sample uses it as a way to draw attention from others. Just 16% of respondents said they update to let people know what they are up to. It demonstrates that the primary motivation for utilising social media, in addition to like other people's posts and excellent work, is to express one's inner thoughts.
Eighty-two percent of the respondents felt that social media platforms are harmful because individuals may misuse them easily, and forty-five percent of them have seen offensive comments or information there. Meanwhile, 46 percent of respondents said that social media advertisements are helpful. However, a sizable portion 30 percent reported that advertisements interfere with their ability to utilise applications, and 16 percent said they are useless.
More than two thirds (68%) of respondents said that the support of social media networks had improved their social lives. Just 30% of respondents declined this question. Of the postgraduate students, over half (56%) said social media networks were useful, and 26 percent said apps were very important to their lives. That indicates that 82 percent of respondents thought social media applications were important to their lives.
The goal of the study was to determine how young people used social media applications and how they felt about them. It was discovered that most of the participants were using their cellphones to access social media and were using them for over ninety minutes per day. Facebook and YouTube were the next most popular cites among the respondents, after WhatsApp. However, there appears to be a fierce competition for users' attention around these sites. The goals of utilising social networking sites were to be entertained and stay in touch with pals. Young people view social media as a platform for self-expression and utilise it as such. A significant percentage also recognised the risks associated with social media use, but they still believed that social media had a positive role in improving social interactions and overall quality of life. Also the sample post graduate students are getting and paying attention towards the study material that they come across dring the social media usage.
According to the study, social media has benefited respondents' and students' lives. They are making use of it to feel at ease. Additionally, respondents' expectations and updates of their personal information are growing on such networks. Social media is a gift, but if young people don't set limits on how much of it they use, it might become a curse. It's important to keep one's balance when scrolling through feeds. Study found that, teenagers in the nation need to be made more aware of how to use social media platforms so they may use them more effectively and productively.
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