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Titlethe usage of social media among young adults living in nairobi, kenya
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Table of Contents
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Introduction
2 Development communication
	2.1 Development
	2.2 Defining development communication
	2.3 Modernization paradigm
	2.4 Dependency paradigm
	2.5 Participatory paradigm
		2.5.1 Research on participatory communication
		2.5.2 Critiques addressed to participatory communication
3 Social media and development communication
	3.1  Social media
		3.1.1 From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and beyond
		3.1.2 Social media and the uses and gratifications theory
		3.1.3 Digital divide
	3.2 Civic and political participation
		3.2.1 Defining civic and political participation
		3.2.2 Civic participation among young people
	3.3 Social media and civic participation
		3.3.1 Civic participation and the Internet
		3.3.2 Social media and civic and political participation
		3.3.3 Social media and protest mobilization
	3.4 Social media and participatory communication
4 Methods
	4.1 Aim of the study and the research questions
	4.2 Research design
	4.3  Subjects and sampling
	4.4 Instrument of data collection
	4.5 Researcher’s role
	4.6 Data analysis
5 Findings and Discussion
	5.1 Social media platforms used and ways of accessing them
		5.1.1 Devices used to access the platforms
		5.1.2 Platforms used
	5.2  Reasons for using social media
		5.2.1 Social media and uses and gratifications theory
		5.2.2  Second level digital divide
	5.3  Topics discussed on social media
		5.3.1 Topics discussed by both groups
		5.3.1 Community related matters
		5.3.2 Politics
		5.3.3 Topics avoided
	5.4  The effects and impact of social media
		5.4.1 Social media and the community
		5.4.2 Social media and Kenyan society
		5.4.3 Social media and politics
		5.4.4 Social media and political elections
		5.4.5 Social media and post-election violence
6 Social media for development
	6.1 Social media and civic and political participation
	6.2 Social media and participatory communication
7 Conclusion
8 Limitations and directions for future research
	Appendix 1: The interview script
Document Text Contents
Page 81


user-friendliness. Some of the interviewees from both groups argued Twitter to be too

complicated for many users, and thus less popular than Facebook.

Yes, I think it differs. Like first of all, I think Facebook is a fairly easy social
platform to deal with. Because unlike Twitter, where you have to have retweets.
You have to put a hashtag searching for someone. It’s just basically an uphill
task. It's not very easy, unlike in Facebook. (MC4)

It was also pointed out that almost everyone has a Facebook account, which makes it more

beneficial than many other platforms to join. Furthermore, one of the interviewees noted that

social networking sites, such as Facebook fit well in the Kenyan society.

Mostly good, because taking from a society perspective, Kenya is a very
familitical form of living. Like I know my neighbor, maybe Nairobi is a little bit
different, but I know on the other sides, people are very family oriented. So
society, everybody knows each other in society. . . So I think most of it what it
has done is done good, cos it has before social media is used I think society has
to question it like what is it for. Why are we doing it, so you don't actually find
somebody coming up with an ill-fated social forum. Had done mostly good than
harm. (MC4).

According to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, Kenya can be claimed to be a collectivistic society

(The Hofstede centre, n.d.). Thus, social relations, such as relations within family or with the

members of the community in which one lives, can be claimed to be important for Kenyans. The

importance of these relations can be claimed to be even stronger particularly in informal

settlements where social relations often function as social security network. This can be one of

the reasons why social networking sites, such as Facebook, seem to be particularly popular

among Kenyans compared to other forms of social media. Although some interviewees saw

Twitter as a rather complicated platform to use, it was also argued to be less complicated than

many other platforms available.

When looking at the usage irrelevant of the platform used, the interviewees pointed

numerous reasons why they were using social media and there were not many differences

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between the two groups. The most common reason for using social media was social – keeping in

touch with friends, asking how they are doing and making new friends. Both groups saw social

media mainly as platforms for socializing and entertainment. Different forms of socializing with

friends were mentioned by all the respondents from both groups.

Facebook and Twitter, as all knows, is a way of interaction between people,
friendship, make friends, and also to communication. That is the main agenda,
why I use it for. (HB6)

So, we, I 'm only there for the social things. . . Yeah, just for the entertainment

Indeed, most of the young adults thought that social media were mostly for entertainment,

although some pointed out they were also places to discuss civic life related matters.

It's both, but I would say mostly entertainment [. . .] There is so much to talk
about, so much to do. Politics is only a very small part of it, a very tiny part,
extremely important. (MC7)

Some interviewees saw social media as channels to get young adults’ voices and concerns heard.

It was made possible cos of social media, cos it has actually made the young
people's voices well heard and I think it is awesome. (MC4)

It was also mentioned that social media worked as channels to address different kinds of issues

particularly for those young adults who were less extrovert. Some of the interviewees used social

media to bring about positive changes in their community.

About our community, I really like to discuss issues about our community. I
have joined a lot of groups on Facebook which discuss or which make a lot of
stuff about community. Because I love my community and I would like my
community to change and through social media we can also have a revolution
that change our community, yeah. (HB5)

Page 162

o Please, justify your answer.

• Do you see social media as channels to have an impact on civic life related matters?


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