Weekdays or Weekends: Exploring the Relationships between Microblog Posting Patterns, Gratification, and Addiction
30 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 13, 2016
Previous research has found that social media applications, such as microblogs, are addictive due to their particular features. While it is generally believed that gratification reflects the gains through use and that addiction is caused by excess use of the technology, there exists scarce evidence that empirically shows the relationships between the amounts and patterns of use and the extents of gratification and addiction. This paper attempts to explore the relationships between posting patterns, gratifications, and addiction dimensions on microblog platforms. Based on the literature on the use and gratifications of media users, we focus on the different posting patterns between weekdays and weekends. Using multiple-source data collection methods, a data set was obtained consisting of 308 microblog users. Our analysis shows that the overall posting frequency of microblog is not significantly related to gratification and addiction levels. Moreover, the posting of microblogs is usually more intensive on weekdays than on weekends. Heavy weekend users tend to be more socially gratified and are most likely to be addicted. In contrast, heavy weekday users are usually not addicted, and reported the lowest levels of gratification among all users. Balanced users that do not display distinguishable difference between weekdays and weekends manifest gratification levels around the average levels, and are less addicted than weekend users, even if their overall usage amounts are heavy.
Keywords: Microblog, use and gratification, addiction, weekdays and weekends
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