Students’ Use of Electronic Media in Their Relationships
Burt, Samantha Jane
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Electronic media use consists of email, instant messaging, mobile phone communication and social networking sites (Jacobsen & Forste, 2011). Due to the advances in technology, communication via electronic media has become increasingly popular (Hogg & Vaughan, 2008). The aim of the current research was to explore students' use of electronic media in their relationships and during their transition to university. Six university students took part and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The interviews were then transcribed verbatim and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Three superordinate themes emerged during analysis, which were: 'Use of Electronic Media,' 'Communication Methods,' and 'Transition to University.' A total of twelve subordinate themes were also identified. The ease and convenience of electronic media was a clear reason for use; for the social networking site Facebook conformity seems to play a role in the reasons why people use it. It also emerged that different methods of communication are used for different levels of intimacy and friendship. Electronic media, particularly Facebook, also played a role in the establishment and maintenance of relationships during the participant’s transitions to university. The participants also expressed that electronic media makes relationships easier to maintain, however they feel that people are becoming lazier as a result.
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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