Group-Based Communication: Contents and Practices of WhatsApp Group Use by Generations and Genders

Abdullah Koçak 1 * , Öznur Yüksek Vergiveren 1

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Abstract

Our time is called digital era with the effects of developing and varying communication technology rapidly. While adoption of smart phones has been occurred worldwide in the last decade, instant messaging applications (IM apps) have also been diffused synchronously and they have become a prominent tool for communication among people. Internet-based instant messaging applications provide users to share any content (texts, videos, photos, links, video and voice calls) at any time both for dyad and group messaging with the opportunities of being free of charge and user-friendly. Hence, people have embraced the new way of communication and SMS has been substituted by instant messaging in time. So, the scope of this study focuses on practices and contents of group-based communication within the sample of WhatsApp, which have a vast adoption in many countries. In this direction, a questionnaire survey was conducted among 633 individuals having a range of backgrounds in Turkey. First of all, 83.3% of participants describe WhatsApp as the most frequently used communication tool. Furthermore, 48.5% of the participants agree with the statement that ‘WhatsApp is indispensable’. In the context of contents, 73.6% of participants declare that the most frequently shared contents is about professional subjects both educational or business areas followed by personal issues and events (55.1%), chain-messages (caricatures, videos, photos, celebration messages) (52.2%) and gossips (44.5%). Considering the generations, while generation Z use WhatsApp groups for sharing personal issues, chain messages, cultural issues and gossip, generation X almost never use the application for this purposes. In terms of gender, it is understood that females tend to share personal issues and gossip more than males and males share political issues more than females. Finding of study confirms that WhatsApp groups are heavily used among Turkish users both for professional and personal life and it is accepted an essential communication way one cannot resist. Meantime purposes of usage differ by generations and genders.

Keywords

group-based communication instant messaging WhatsApp groups generations genders

License

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

https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/5900

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 9, Issue 4, Article No: e201922

Published Online: 29 Aug 2019

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Article Downloads: 158

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