I ♥ FB: A Q-Methodology Analysis of Why People ‘Like' Facebook

I ♥ FB: A Q-Methodology Analysis of Why People ‘Like' Facebook

Tom Robinson (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA), Clark Callahan (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA), Kristoffer Boyle (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA), Erica Rivera (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA) and Janice K. Cho (Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJVCSN.2017040103
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Abstract

Virtually seductive qualities of identity sharing, content gratification, and ample social atmosphere have made Facebook the most popular social network, boasting 890 million daily users (“Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter,” 2015; Joinson, 2008; Orchard et al., 2014, Reinecke et al., 2014). Online social network studies largely overlook the individual, limiting the understanding of what exactly drives people to use, abuse, even become dependent on sites like Facebook. Based on the theory of uses and gratifications, Q methodology subjectively observes what draws users to Facebook, focusing specifically on Facebook user characteristics. Past studies neglect the existence of three of the four factor groups discovered in this study, making these effectually new discoveries for academia (Alloway, Runac, Quershi, & Kemp, 2014; Cheung, Chieu & Lee, 2011; Sheldon, 2008, Tosun, 2012; Yang & Brown, 2013). These findings increase understanding of online usage, even addiction, and will help cater future social networks to specific users.
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Review Of Literature

The increased acclaim and motives for usage of Social Networking Sites (SNS) has been researched considerably in recent years, particularly and specifically focusing on Facebook (Joinson, 2008; Tufekci, 2008; Ross et al., 2009; Sheldon, 2008; Yang & Brown, 2013; Cheung, Chieu, & Lee, 2011; Nadkarni & Hofmann, 2011; Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007; Kalpidou, Costin, & Morris, 2011; Gonzales & Hancock, 2011; Bachrach, Grepel, Kohli, Kosinski, & Stillwell, 2014; Orchard, Fullwood, Morris, & Galbraith, 2014; Reinecke, Vorderer, & Knop, 2014; Rhoads, Thomas, & McKeown, 2016). Because of its accessibility, attractiveness, voluntary and unprecedented following, most research has centered around the uses and gratifications of Facebook users and their intrinsic motivations for use (Joinson, 2008; Sheldon, 2008; Cheung et al., 2011; Orchard et al., 2014). While some articles tend to highlight the changes Facebook has caused in our society (Reinecke et al., 2014), others seek to promote Facebook use as a way to build much-needed social capital, and thus promote public progress (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe, 2007; Kalpidou et al., 2011; Orchard et al., 2014). While its attraction to the masses is fascinating and complex, of particular interest are the avid users—some even self-proclaimed “addicts” of Facebook and their various practices and reasons for choosing to be connected virtually all of the time.

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