Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Media Studies


Dr. Anabel Quan-Haase


This study explores how emerging adults (Arnett, 2000) in their first- and second-year of undergraduate study make use of social networking sites (SNSs) for their day-to-day sociality. This study compares emerging adults’ use of Facebook, which is the most popular and widely used SNS among this particular demographic, to increasingly popular SNSs Twitter and Instagram. This project seeks to discover how the use of different SNSs supplements, changes, or replaces the use of Facebook, considering social capital exists on each platform, and if and how each sites’ uses and gratifications differ. This study employs face-to-face semi-structured interviews to pursue the proposed research questions, using a grounded theory approach informed by social capital and uses and gratifications theory.