Adolescent Perceptions of Social Media in a Pacific Rim Community

  • Holmes, Robyn M. (Department of Psychology, Monmouth University) ;
  • Liden, Sharon (Department of Education, State of Hawai'i) ;
  • Shin, Lisa (Department of Education, State of Hawai'i)
  • Received : 2013.04.19
  • Accepted : 2013.07.12
  • Published : 2013.08.30


This study explored social media use among 50 adolescents attending a public high school in a non-Western community. Adolescents participated in focus group interviews and completed a written self-report survey. Findings revealed that these teenagers use electronic communication forms such as phone texting and social networking sites to connect with friends and family. They show a preference for Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, do not engage in risky Internet behavior, and acknowledge both positive and negative aspects of electronic communication forms. In addition, their selection of electronic communication forms is dependent upon several factors that include the strength of the relationship and type of discourse exchange. For example, they reserve phone texting and cell use, which are more private communication mediums for family and friends. Electronic communication did not replace face-to-face interactions; rather it complemented and extended those interactions. Findings support existing literature on adolescent social media use and those shared with other collectivist cultural groups.


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