Connecting with Others: A Qualitative Study of Online Social Networking Site Usage

Patrick Wayne Powell, Geneva Gray, Mary Kate Reese


Individuals are being affected by social network site (SNS) usage in significant ways.  In addition, the current field of research is contradictory regarding the consequences of SNS use. The purpose of this research was to gain in-depth information of how SNS use affects the lives of heavy users. The study utilized a phenomenological research design to explore the perspectives of participants. Analyzed interviews of eight university students identified five themes: Connecting with others, feelings (emotive responses) resulting from social networking site usage, compulsive use of social networking sites, preferring to have offline relationships, and communication using social networking sites being easier than offline communication. Implications for the profession and future research are also discussed.


Facebook, Social Networking Site, Addiction, Compulsion, Relationships, Marriage

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