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Despite growing popularity of the social networking Websites among young Internet users, little attention has been paid to understanding why and how they use SNW and whether their use of SNW has an influence on other social networking media use. Drawing from theories including diffusion of innovation, uses and gratifications and media substitution, this study explores factors that would affect undergraduatesí use of SNW and the impact of SNW use on other social networking media. Specifically, the following research questions are proposed:
1. What are the factors that affect undergraduatesí use of social networking Websites?
2. How does the undergraduatesí use of social networking Websites affect the other social networking media use? Structured survey instrument items are developed from previous studies based on various theories including diffusion of innovation, uses and gratifications and media substitution to identify the factors that affect SNW use and other social networking media use. The variables included in the survey instrument are: Adopter attributes, Attitude toward SNW use, SNW use motivation, Social networking media use, Mass media use, and demographic characteristics. Currently, data has been collected at the main campus library by research assistants using a combined method of a self-administered survey and personal interview targeting a total of 250 undergraduate students from a public HBCU. Participants have been recruited via campus email and flyers. The collected data will be analyzed using various statistical techniques such as factor analysis, ANOVA and multiple regressions. The results of the study will show what make the young people use the social networking Websites (SNW) from a theoretical perspective. The study will also show whether their use of SNW increase or decrease the use of other types of social networking media or traditional mass media. These results will provide important information about understanding the young generationsí media and technology use patterns.
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