Thursday, April 17, 2014

Uses and Gratifications - Part Two, summary

The Uses and Gratifications approach can be used to study many different types of media events and phenomena. Our case study highlighted the use of this approach to examine more closely why users are drawn to and interact with Facebook. Using this theory, communication scholars can examine in greater detail what types of needs users are interacting with the social networking sites to achieve. The theory defines five different types of needs that can be met when interacting with media: cognitive, affective, integrative, social, and escape. The theory can also be used to examine the PBS documentary "Growing Up Online", where Facebook users, most in their teens, used the website to recreate themselves if they were unhappy with any aspect of their real social lives. The theory was found to have some drawbacks, however. The environment and state of the media user as well as the social context of the media is ignored when using this theory to study why people interact with media. In summary, the theory is good for seeing why users actively interact with Facebook, but doesn't consider how the media users chose to interact with, in this case Facebook, may be affecting them.

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