Comparing Frequency of TV and Internet Use among African-American Students and Their Effects on Material Values and Sociability

David J. Park 1 *, Maria Elena Villar 1

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This study compares sociability, material values and self-reported happiness among AfricanAmerican university Internet and television consumers.Reminiscent of Marshal McLuhan’s (1979) medium theory, our results highlight the role of technological change in affecting value structures and social behaviors. The results showed that heavy Internet users did not differ from light Internet users in their level of sociability, however, heavy Internet users avoided “large social gatherings.” For materialism and self-reported happiness, there were no differences between heavy and light Internet users. The results for television viewers differed from Internet users. While there were no differences between light and heavy viewers concerning sociability, heavy TV viewers scored higher than light viewers on materialism, and lower in happiness. Findings suggest that the effects of heavy television viewing do not necessarily translate to heavy Internet use.


Media Use Sociability Materialism Happiness African-Americans


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp. 21-40

Published Online: 15 Jan 2015

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