Students' Use of Mobile Technologies: Motivational Factors

Students' Use of Mobile Technologies: Motivational Factors

Hoda Baytiyeh (The American University of Beirut, Lebanon)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch027
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Mobile technologies are all-pervasive in the current digital generation, and college students rely on their mobile phones to communicate on a daily basis. In the midst of the myriad of applications available to download on the mobile, some tools have become more well-known and more often adopted than others. An example of such a tool is WhatsApp, which gains an increasing, widespread number of users on a daily basis, particularly in the Middle East region. The present study investigated college students' use of WhatsApp as a communication tool, and used Lebanon as a case study. A qualitative research design was implemented to understand the perceptions of college students vis-à-vis WhatsApp, and to investigate the motivational factors behind the popularity of this communication tool. The results revealed four themes: simplicity for discussion and coordination, cost-effectiveness, immediacy and sense of belonging.
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2. The Spread Of Social Media Tools

A recent study that involved 6,093 face-to-face and telephone interviews with participants aged 18 and older from Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) showed that mobile technologies have pervaded Arab culture (Dennis, Martin, & Wood, 2015). It was shown that almost 79% of the participants used social media at least once a day, and nearly 69% used the Internet on a daily basis, to learn of the latest news and events from friends and family. In addition, Facebook and WhatsApp have been considered as the leading social media platforms in the Middle East region, as they are used by more than 3 in 4 respondents (Dennis, Martin, & Wood, 2015). It has been shown that WhatsApp is highly popular among all age groups, as it has become ubiquitous in the UAE (used by 100% of respondents), Lebanon (97%), Saudi Arabia (94%) and Qatar (89%).

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