The Social Media Affinity Scale: Implications For Education

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R. Nicholas Gerlich
Leigh Browning
Lori Westermann

Keywords

social media, Facebook, internet, education

Abstract

In recent years, males and females have demonstrated fairly equal amounts of internet usage, but females have demonstrated higher usage of social media sites. These observed differences served as the impetus for the current study. A survey was conducted in early 2010 among college students to assess whether differences still occur between males and females, and specifically with regard to social media usage. In order to assess these phenomena, the Social Media Affinity Scale was created and deployed. Results of the study showed that, among the students surveyed, no significant differences exist between males and females in their internet usage, social media usage, and also beliefs about social media sites in general. Given that students have overwhelmingly adopted social media, we propose that there is now an opportunity to leverage social media in college courses to deliver content and engage students in ways not previously possible.

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