Whose space? Differences among users and non-users of social network sites


Hargittai, E.


Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Volume 13, Number 1, United Kingdom, p.276-297 (2007)






social network sites; systematic differences; demographic characteristics; sociocultural factors; Computer Mediated Communication; Online Social Networks


Are there systematic differences between people who use social network sites and those who stay away, despite a familiarity with them? Based on data from a survey administered to a diverse group of young adults, this article looks at the predictors of SNS usage, with particular focus on Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, and Friendster. Findings suggest that use of such sites is not randomly distributed across a group of highly wired users. A person's gender, race and ethnicity, and parental educational background are all associated with use, but in most cases only when the aggregate concept of social network sites is disaggregated by service. Additionally, people with more experience and autonomy of use are more likely to be users of such sites. Unequal participation based on user background suggests that differential adoption of such services may be contributing to digital inequality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)


Accession Number: 2007-19531-014. First Author & Affiliation: Hargittai, Eszter; Communication Studies and Sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, US. Other Journal Title: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Other Publishers: Blackwell Publishing. Release Date: 20080107. Publication Type: Journal, (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110). Media Covered: Electronic. Media Available: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Demographic Characteristics; Sociocultural Factors; Computer Mediated Communication; Online Social Networks. Classification: Communication Systems (2700) . Population: Human (10) Male (30) Female (40) . Location: US. Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300) Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs) (320) . Grant Information: The author is very grateful for the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through its Digital Media and Learning initiative. The author is also indebted to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and The Lenore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellowship in Communication. The author thanks the support offered by Northwestern University's Research Grants Committee, the School of Communication Innovation Fund, and the Department of Communication Studies Research Fund. Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y.