Relationship between self–esteem and facebook usage amongst black Generation Y students
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The purpose of this study was to determine the link between number of Facebook friends, time spent on Facebook, the perceived benefits of Facebook-facilitated friendship and self-esteem amongst black Generation Y students in South Africa. In South Africa, the black Generation Y cohort (individuals born between 1986 and 2005) represents an important but under researched market segment in that it makes up 33 percent of the country's population. As one of the major new recreational activities to have gained popularity in recent years, social networking on sites such as Facebook is attracting interest from academics and marketing practitioners. From a marketing perspective, understanding the social networks of target markets is crucial because members of such networks serve as points of reference for each other, thereby influencing the behaviour of members, including their consumption-related behaviour. The study, utilising a questionnaire designed to measure black Generation Y students' Facebook usage, perceived Facebook-facilitated friendship benefits and self-esteem, was undertaken on a convenience sample of 400 students across three South African public higher education institutions' campuses situated in the Gauteng province. Data analysis was done using t-tests, Pearson's correlation coefficient and regression analysis. The findings suggest that black Generation Y students are relatively heavy users of Facebook and have high levels of self-esteem. Facebook usage also has a positive influence on the perceived value of the site's friendship-facilitating features. The findings suggest that individuals with lower levels of self-esteem perceive greater benefits from the friendship-facilitating features of Facebook than those with higher levels of self-esteem.