Uses and Gratifications of Facebook Members 35 Years and Older

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Online social networking sites continue to grow as a medium of consumption, acting as a changing force for interpersonal communication and media interaction. It is important to understand how and why each demographic segment is using these sites. Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the U.S., with older adults representing a substantial portion of the site’s growth. Previous studies have investigated the use of Facebook among college students and young adults; however, older age demographics are a fairly new segment to the online social networking landscape that has not yet been investigated. Through a large-scale online survey, ... continued below

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Valentine, Aimee August 2011.

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  • Valentine, Aimee

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Online social networking sites continue to grow as a medium of consumption, acting as a changing force for interpersonal communication and media interaction. It is important to understand how and why each demographic segment is using these sites. Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the U.S., with older adults representing a substantial portion of the site’s growth. Previous studies have investigated the use of Facebook among college students and young adults; however, older age demographics are a fairly new segment to the online social networking landscape that has not yet been investigated.

Through a large-scale online survey, this study represents the first empirical investigation of Facebook members age 35 and older. Findings provide a baseline of knowledge for understanding time spent, frequent activities and gratifications obtained by this audience on Facebook. Results indicate adults 35 and older allocate a substantial amount of time to the site and use it most often for communication with people in their network. While many activities on the site were found to be similar between older and younger audiences, adults 35 and older in this study reported more passive activities of surveillance rather than participation. Factor analysis yielded five gratification factors for Facebook of which three were salient against the 35 and older audience: interpersonal habitual entertainment, passing time and self-expression. Exploratory open-ended questions also revealed some additional unique possible motives to be considered in future research among this audience.

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  • August 2011

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  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m.

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  • July 28, 2012, 10:17 p.m.

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Valentine, Aimee. Uses and Gratifications of Facebook Members 35 Years and Older, thesis or dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84293/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .