Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Gender Differences in Personality, Motivation and the Tendency to Follow Social Networking Trends among Indian Millennials

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Gender Differences in Personality, Motivation and the Tendency to Follow Social Networking Trends among Indian Millennials

Article excerpt


Within the last two decades, advancements in technology have led to the birth of a plethora of social networking platforms worldwide. Social networking sites, which started out as a virtual means to connect with old friends from school and discuss common interests, has emerged into a socially powerful force that has integrated itself into the backbone of our society. Today, social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have gained an enormous amount of popularity among people across ages, though especially among the youth. Recent Statistics show that India has the world's largest number of Facebook users with over 195 million, overtaking the United States by a four million subscribers. It is also the country with the second largest monthly active users on Twitter in the Asia-Pacific, after Japan with a remarkable 23.2 million users. In addition to this, 30% of Internet users in India have active Instagram accounts, making social networking sites an essential platform to express, discuss and communicate with each other (Economic Times, 2016). Hence there is a need to understand the antecedents of social networking trends that emerge from these applications in India.

1.1 Social Networking Sites (SNS)

Social networking sites are the instrument through which individuals can communicate with each other by sharing and receiving information on a public platform. The material shared can be text, videos, pictures etc. and the mode of communication can be television, radio, newspaper or Internet. With respect to this research, social media refers to the widespread communication through the applications Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

1.2 Social Networking Trends

Social networking trends are the habits, behaviors, styles and fashion that are recurring over a time-period and followed by the majority population (Boyd & Ellison, 2008).


The literature reviewed shows that most research on this topic is conducted on populations of USA and UK. In addition to this, the literature on the antecedents of social networking trends is sparse. While several studies have spoken about social media usage in general (e.g. Ross et al., 2009; Seidman, 2013; Correa et al., 2010), very few have specifically looked into social networking trends.

Alan and Kabadayi (2016) studied the relationship between personality characteristics and social networking usage to find that neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and extraversion exert a positive effect on an individual's social media usage. Conscientiousness however exerted a negative effect on the use of social media. Similarly, Correa, Hinsley & Zúñiga (2010) also found that there is a significant positive relationship between extraversion, openness to experience, neuroticism and social media usage. It was seen that findings also differed by gender and age. While extraverted men and women were both likely to be more frequent users of social media, only the men with greater degrees of neuroticism were more regular users. The relationship between extraversion and social media use was particularly important among the young adult cohort.

In understanding the relationship between motivation and social networking site usage, research has dominantly used the situational motivation scale (SIMS). Sweetsera & Kelleherb, (2011) conducted a survey on social media use, motivation and leadership among public relations practitioner. Using SIMS as a research tool, they found that intrinsic motivation and internal regulation played a major role in the motivation behind social media usage. No statistically significant differences were found in motivation constructs based on educational level, age and gender. Similarly, Leng, Lada, Muhammad, Ibrahim and Ambola (2011) studied the motivations behind social networking using Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and models of intrinsic motivation. …

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