Student Use of Social Media: University Policy and Response

Student Use of Social Media: University Policy and Response

Tamara L. Wandel (University of Evansville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-104-9.ch010
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This chapter presents information on the usages and intent of social media by college students and administrators. Primary and secondary quantitative data is provided, as well as qualitative information obtained from interviews of multiple constituents. Researchers and postsecondary employees can more effectively examine technological trends in regard to online social networking for non-academic purposes after considering this data. Theories of self-esteem, interpersonal communication, decision making, and innovation diffusion are integrated throughout the chapter.
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Osn Reining Giant For College Students

The interests of college students are as diverse as the myriad of online social networking (OSN) sites available to them. From Bebo to to Friends Reunied to Friendster, university students have numerous OSN options as they put their technologically savvy skills to use in finding their niche. One network in particular dominates the college scene with over 85% market share of four-year universities in the United States: Facebook.

Originally called thefacebook, and targeting college students, Facebook is now the second most trafficked online social networking site following MySpace. In hipper context, Facebook is “…the online hangout of just about every college student in the nation” (Levy, 2007). Mark Zuckerberg, the man credited with Facebook, dropped out of Harvard University to focus full-time on his creation. Like MySpace co-founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, Zuckerberg had become frustrated at his own experience and felt he could develop something better than what existed. The story goes that he believed Harvard University was too slow in creating an online student directory, so he made sure his own version was both expedient and impressive. After 6,000 students at Harvard registered with thefacebook, within the first three weeks, Zuckerberg piloted the program at Stanford and Yale (Naposki, 2006). The online social networking site quickly became a sought-after commodity and officially became known as Facebook in August 2005.

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