The impact of social media usage on the cognitive social capital of university students
Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Effcomm, Cape Town, South Africa
The impact of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter usage has on the creation and maintenance of university students' cognitive social capital was investigated on students in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Facebook and Twitter were selected as part of the research context because both are popular online social network systems (SNSs), and few studies were found that investigated the impact that social media has on the cognitive social capital of South African university students. Data was collected from a survey questionnaire, which was successfully completed by over 100 students from all five universities within the Western Cape. The questionnaire was obtained from a previous study, allowing comparisons to be made. The research involves disciplines such as Information Systems, Psychology and Sociology, and the information gathered is meant to inform inquiry in various disciplines. Analysis of the results, however, did not show a strong relationship between the intensity of Facebook and Twitter usage and the various forms of social capital. Facebook usage was found to correlate with student satisfaction with university life, which suggests that increasing the intensity of Facebook usage for students experiencing low satisfaction with university life might be beneficial.