Uses of social network sites among digital natives: the case of facebook use among METU students

Akbuğa, Fulya
Today, with the development of the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies, social media dominates the social life. Social network sites are an important part of Social Media where users communicate, interact, share and participate. The most popular social network site Facebook has over 1 billion users in the world and nearly 33 million Internet users in Turkey are using Facebook as well. Young people who were born into digital technologies are called as the 'digital natives'. They are the most active users of Facebook. The purpose of this study is to understand the motives of the digital natives in using social network sites through the lens of Uses and Gratifications Theory with a specific focus on their self-presentation in the case of Facebook. Within the purpose of the study, qualitative methods are used and in-depth interviews are conducted with the sample of Middle East Technical University first grade students. According to the results, the main reason why the digital natives represented by METU first grade students use Facebook is to satisfy the needs of socialization, communication, entertainment and to share information. Self presentation emerges as one of the main reasons of their Facebook use. It is also significant that they express themselves better on Facebook than their offline social lives.