Cultural difference in motivations for using social network sites: A comparative study of American and Korean college students
- ISSN: 07475632
- DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.08.015
While the explosive growth of social network sites is a common phenomenon across many countries, the ways people use them and their reasons for doing so may differ depending on their social and cultural milieu, for fundamental values are divergent from culture to culture. This study is an attempt to examine how cultural contexts shape the use of communication technology by examining the motives for and patterns of using social network sites among college students in the US and Korea. The findings of this study suggest that the major motives for using social network sites - seeking friends, social support, entertainment, information, and convenience - are similar between the two countries, though the weights placed on these motives are different. Reflecting the unique social nature of the medium, Korean college students put more weight on obtaining social support from existing social relationships, while American students place relatively greater emphasis on seeking entertainment. Additionally, American college students' networks in an online social venue are far larger than their Korean counterparts, which may reflect the cultural difference between the two countries regarding developing and managing social relationships.