The Impact Facebook and Twitter has on the Cognitive Social Capital of University Students

Chad Petersen, Kevin A. Johnston
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 18  •  2015  •  pp. 001-030
The impact that Facebook and Twitter usage has on the creation and maintenance of university student’s 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 both Facebook and Twitter have 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 5 universities within the Western Cape. The questionnaire was obtained from a previous study, allowing comparisons to be made. 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’s satisfaction with university life; which suggests that increasing the intensity of Facebook usage for students experiencing low satisfaction with university life might be beneficial.
Facebook, Twitter, Cognitive Social Capital, Bridging Social Capital, Bonding Social Capital, Maintained Social Capital, Usage, University Students
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