Social networking application usage: competencies and trends among pre-millennials, millennials, and Generation Z
McEachin-Williams, Natasha J.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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The purpose of this case study was to discover the social networking and mobile device usage patterns, competencies, and attitudes among Pre-Millennial, Millennial, and Generation Z users. The goal was to identify the strategies Millennial and Generation Z users developed to master social networking on mobile devices. This paper is concluded with suggestions about how/if Pre- Millennials can adopt the same strategies to strengthen their skills and experience with this technology. The research question is whether Millennials/Generation Z are better at using social networking sites on mobile devices than Pre-Millennials? A qualitative research study design was chosen for this topic. Participants completed 80 online surveys, and 20 individuals represented each of the four cohorts (Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial, and Generation Z). The surveys were followed up with 3-5 interviews with participants from each generation. The topics of discussion analyzed the usage patterns of mobile devices and social networking applications; attitudes about mobile technology and social networking; and self-assessed competency levels between the four groups. The results revealed the differences in usage patterns among the cohorts were based more on personal values than competency. This paper contributes to intra-generational research, highlighting the distinguishing characteristics in each group's experiences.
Online social networks