УДК 37

Peculiarities of student activity in social media

Бабурин Алексей Вячеславович – магистрант Рязанского государственного университета имени С. А. Есенина.

Abstract: The article considers the specifics of university students' activity in social networks from the position of the frequency of publications in the most popular social networks: "Vkontakte", "Instagram", "TikTok". Based on the fact that the majority of students who took part in the study make publications once a month or less, it is assumed that there is a tendency of differentiation of social media users' activity with a clear division into those who create content and those who are consumers of such content. At the same time, content consumers are the predominant group.

Аннотация: В статье рассматривается специфика проявления активности студентов высших учебных заведений в социальных сетях с позиции частоты размещения публикаций в наиболее популярных социальных сетях: «Вконтакте», «Инстаграм», «Тикток». Основываясь на том, что большинство студентов, принявших участие в исследовании, делают публикации раз в месяц и реже, предполагается, что существует тенденция дифференциации активности пользователей социальных сетей с четким разделением на создателей и потребителей контента. При этом потребители контента являются преобладающей группой.

Keywords: digital space, online personality, social media, content publishing, content consumers, сontent creators, online activity.

Ключевые слова: цифровое пространство, личность онлайн, социальные сети, публикация контента, потребители контента, создатели контента, онлайн активность.

  1. Introduction

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has intensified the pace of global digitalization. Work and educational activities have undergone significant changes and adapted to a distance, Internet-mediated format. The importance of social media has increased significantly, and it has now outgrown the level of communication and information exchange platforms and has become a full-fledged augmented reality. In social media, people do their business and work for hire, make themselves known, get an education, and share various multimedia content. Bloggers are becoming popular and well-known people with high incomes. Many people are attracted to this kind of earning opportunity [1]. In the digital space, competition is growing and requirements for publication content are increasing. On the one side, the increase in requirements improves the quality of materials, but on the other side it can act as a limitation for people who are not ready to make their publications of such a high quality. This in turn can result in a change in the type of social media activity. Instead of constantly posting to their accounts, people may increasingly choose to follow those who meet the quality standard. In other words, there is a gradual divide between those who create content and those who are content consumers and only occasionally post anything, especially if posting posts, stories or videos is not related to promoting a business or product.

By social media we mean an online platform intended to communicate and connect people, make new relationships, work, share information and various multimedia content (photos, movies, music, etc.), and spend leisure time [2,3]. 

There is a large amount of research concerning human activity in the digital space. These researches are very different in their content, and many of them are concerned with the activity of the personality in social media. Some researchers consider social media as a source of danger, in which conditions are created to justify terrorism or terrorist activity, incite social, racial, national or religious instability (Nuriymon, A. Social danger of social networks, 2020). Much research is devoted to the phenomenon of Internet addiction as potentially posing a danger to people's mental well-being (Sochivko D. V., Simakova, 2021; Seferov K. D., 2017; Shelyuk O. N., 2018; Wojskunski, A. E., 2018).

The influence of social media activity on career perception (O'Connor, Kimberly & McDonald, Kimberly & McDaniel, Brandon & Schmidt, Gordon, 2021) and real life (Rani, Manju, 2019), the relationship between social media activity and thinking styles (Huan, Xu & Gong, Yanping & Zhang, Qin & Xie, Julan, 2019) have been studied. The psychological characteristics of students with different degrees of involvement in electronic social media (E. V. Mikhailov, N. S. Tatarnikova, D. S. Tatarnikova, 2019) also become the object of attention of researchers.

More and more often the subject of research becomes such a form of activity as blogging in social media (Zhizhina, M. V. 2019; Zakharova A. E. 2021).

The list of directions and approaches to research is indeed very extensive. However, until now the activity in social media has not been viewed from the position of differentiating the character of this activity by the specifics of its manifestation in relation to the creation and posting of content in a personal account on social media. Despite the fact that this approach makes it possible to assess the trends in the development of social media, as well as the specifics of people's behavior in them. 

According to the data of the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), presented on September 23, 2021, some of the most popular social networks in Russia are "Vkontakte", "Instagram", "Tiktok". In our opinion, they are also the most popular among young people. For these reasons, the study of user activity, expressed in the frequency of content publishing, was conducted on the basis of the above social media [4].

  1. Materials and Methods

In the process of the research, the following tasks were solved: 1) selecting groups of students for the research; 2) conducting a questionnaire to collect actual data on social media activity; 3) analyzing the results obtained, including the frequency of publishing content, the number of accounts in the proposed social media, the frequency of publications depending on the number of accounts; 4) evaluating the results in terms of the character of activity shown in social media.

The research was conducted on the basis of Ryazan State University named after S. A. Yesenin, Ryazan State Medical University named after Academician I.P. Pavlov, Ryazan State Radio Engineering University named after V.F. Utkin, Ryazan Academy of Federal Penitentiary Service, Moscow State Psychological and Pedagogical University. Students of the above-mentioned educational institutions are the sample of the study.

A total of 111 students between the ages of 18 and 30 participated in the research. The research procedure involved filling out the author's questionnaire, which included such questions as age, sex (gender), having accounts (pages) in social media "Vkontakte", "Instagram", "Tiktok", as well as the content posting frequency: "once a week and more often", "not less than once in two weeks", "once a month", "less than once a month". Publishing content meant posting a post or "story" on their page. There was no time limit for completing the questionnaire.

The study was conducted in two stages. The first stage involved the collection of factual material through a questionnaire survey of university students. The second stage consisted in the analysis of the obtained results.

  1. Results and discussion

Table 1. Frequency of publications.

Frequency of publications

Number of respondents

Percentages

"less than once a month"

34

30,6 %

"once a month"

37

33,4 %

"not less than once in two weeks"

15

13,5 %

"once a week and more often"

25

22,5 %

The research revealed (Table 1) that 30.6% of the respondents publish content less than once a month. And once a month is published by 33.4% of respondents. At the same time, at least once every two weeks 13.5% of respondents publish. Once a week or more often - 22.5% of respondents. Based on the results we can conclude that 64% of respondents (71 out of 111 students) post publications once a month or less often on their accounts, while once a week or more often only 22.5% of respondents (25 out of 111 students).

Table 2. Number of accounts in the proposed social media.

Number of accounts in the proposed social media

Number of respondents

Percentages

Have three accounts

56

50,5 %

Have two accounts

40

36 %

Have one account

15

13,5 %

It was also revealed (see Table 2) that 50.5% of the study respondents have accounts in all three of the proposed social media: "Vkontakte", "Tiktok", "Instagram". In two social media, 36% of respondents have accounts. Only 13.5% of respondents have one account.

Table 3. Account in a social network.

Social media

Number of respondents

Percentages

"Vkontakte"

110

99,1 %

"Instagram"

97

87,4 %

"Tiktok"

56

50,5 %

The most popular social media network among the proposed in the research (see Table 3) was the social media "Vkontakte", an account in which 99.1% of the respondents have an account. In the social media "Instagram" 87.4% of the students who participated in our research have an account. Despite the rapid development of the social media "Tiktok", only 50.5% of respondents have an account on it. This fact can probably be attributed to the fact that the social network "TicToc" is in demand among the younger generation, i.e. school students.

Table 4. Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in all 3 proposed social media.

Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in all 3 proposed social media

Number of respondents

Percentages

"less than once a month"

14

25 %

"once a month"

15

26,8 %

"not less than once in two weeks"

11

19,6 %

"once a week and more often"

16

28,6 %

Table 5. Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in 2 of the 3 proposed social media.

Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in 2 of the 3 proposed social media

Number of respondents

Percentages

"less than once a month"

10

25 %

"once a month"

18

45 %

"not less than once in two weeks"

4

10 %

"once a week and more often"

8

20 %

Table 6. Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in 1 of the 3 proposed social media.

Frequency of publications of those who have accounts in 1 of the 3 proposed social media

Number of respondents

Percentages

"less than once a month"

10

66,7 %

"once a month"

4

26,7 %

"not less than once in two weeks"

0

0 %

"once a week and more often"

1

6,6 %

In this study we found that among the respondents who have accounts in all 3 proposed social networks slightly prevail those who publish content once a week and more often - they are 28.6% of the respondents (see Table 4). It should be noted that they represent 64% of all respondents publishing content once a week and more often (16 out of 25 students).

Among those who have an account on only 1 of the 3 proposed social media, 66.7% of respondents post less than once a month (see Table 6). In turn, among the respondents who have 2 accounts, those who post once a month prevail - 45% of the respondents (see Table 5).

In general, the results reveal that those who have accounts in all three social networks (16 out of 25 students) publish content once a week or more often. In addition, there is a clear trend of predominance of those who post once a month and less frequently regardless of the number of social media accounts: among respondents with 3 accounts - 51.8%; among respondents with 2 accounts - 70%; among respondents with 1 account - 93.4%.

  1. Conclusion

The materials resulting from the research allow us to conclude that today users who post publications once a month or less predominate among young students. Their proportion is 64% of the respondents or 71 out of 111 students who responded to the research. At the same time once a week or more often only 22.5% of respondents or 25 out of 111 students who responded to the research do publications. Such a trend may indicate an emerging differentiation in the activity of Internet users, the type of which may undergo changes and gradually divide users into two groups.

The first group is the majority, which are consumers of content (like television viewers, only with an interactive element), the second group is a small minority engaged in the creation and placement of various content. The second group should primarily include professional bloggers and those whose business or work is related to leading pages in social media.

The reason for this may be the increasing requirements for the quality of the published content. Professional bloggers pursuing personal benefits set a high standard for the quality of posted publications. And the social media themselves are arranged in such a way that particular importance began to be given to the number of subscribers, the wideness of coverage, and the number of views.

Receiving an insignificant response only from the number of friends, the user can avoid frequent publication of content and gradually become a mere consumer of digital information posted by more successful users. It is important to note that the reason for the decrease in posting activity in social media may also be the reluctance to advertise one's personal life for security reasons due to the increase in cybercrime in recent years. The problem requires further research.

Список литературы

  1. Жижина М. В. Социальные представления студенческой молодежи о личности блогера // Изв. Сарат. ун-та. Нов. сер. Сер. Философия. Психология. Педагогика. 2019. Т. 19, вып. 4. С. 432–436. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18500/1819-7671- 2019-19-4-433-436
  2. Жижина, М. В. Основные направления социально-психологических исследований социальных сетей / М. В. Жижина // Colloquium-journal. – 2019. – № 15-5(39). – С. 14-16. – DOI 10.24411/2520-6990-2019-10472.
  3. Юдина, Е. Н. Солидарность в социальных сетях / Е. Н. Юдина, И. В. Алексеенко // Коммуникология. – 2020. – Т. 8. – № 1. – С. 114-127. – DOI 10.21453/2311-3065-2020-8-1-114-127.
  4. Официальный портал Всероссийский центра изучения общественного мнения (ВЦИОМ). url:https://wciom.ru/analytical-reviews/analiticheskii-obzor/mediapotreblenie-i-aktivnost-v-internete (дата обращения: 04.12.2021).

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