logo logo International Journal of Educational Methodology

IJEM is a leading, peer-reviewed, open access, research journal that provides an online forum for studies in education, by and for scholars and practitioners, worldwide.

Subscribe to

Receive Email Alerts

for special events, calls for papers, and professional development opportunities.


Publisher (HQ)

Eurasian Society of Educational Research
College House, 2nd Floor 17 King Edwards Road, Ruislip, London, UK. HA4 7AE
College House, 2nd Floor 17 King Edwards Road, Ruislip, London, UK. HA4 7AE
university student social network cites usage happiness qualitative analysis fear of missing out

Why Does The Use of Social Network Site (SNS) Make Happy? : A Qualitative Analysis

Ugur Dogan , Humeyra Uysal , Sabri Sidekli

The aim of this study investigate to the reasons why the usage of Social Network Sites (SNS) makes users happy. To this end, the study was conducted w.


The aim of this study investigate to the reasons why the usage of Social Network Sites (SNS) makes users happy. To this end, the study was conducted with as a qualitative research method. The phenomenological design, which is a qualitative research method, was utilized for determining why SNS usage cause happiness and having a better to understand of how SNS users describe SNSs and what they feel about it. The study group was composed of 137 university students (60 males and 77 females) attending the Faculty of Education, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Literature, and Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at a university in the southwestern of Turkey. A structured, open-ended interview was used as the data collection instrument. The contributors were asked the question “Why does SNS usage cause happiness?” and their answers were retrieved. The answers were encoded and entered to the NVivo software to conduct analyses. Based on the most frequent answers of the participants, three different experts were consulted and seven themes were created accordingly. These seven themes include Need for Stroke, Self-Concealment, Ease of Interaction, Ease of Accessing and Disseminating Information, Ease of Shopping, Leisure Activity, and Fear of Missing Out. Subcategories were also created for these seven themes. It was concluded that the theme of FoMO is nourished by all other themes.

Keywords: University student, social network cites usage, happiness, qualitative analysis, fear of missing out

cloud_download PDF
Article Metrics


Acir, E. (2009). Internet’in Turk toplumunun iletisimindeki rolu: Facebook’taki Turkiye [The role of internet in the communication of Turkish society: The Turkey in Facebook] (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). Ankara University, Ankara/Turkey.

Agger, B. (2011). Sanal benlik [The Virtual self]. (V. Hacioglu, Trans.) Istanbul: Babil Yayinlari.

Auty, S., & Elliott, R. (2001). Being like or being liked: Identity vs. approval in a social context. ACR North American Advances, 28, 235-241. Retrieved from http://acrwebsite.org/volumes/8475/volumes/v28/NA-28, on 23.08.2017.

Balci, A. (2015). Sosyal bilimlerde arastirma yontem, teknik ve ilkeler [Research methods, techniques and principles in social sciences], (11th Edition). Ankara: Pegem Akademi.

Beyens, I., Frison, E., & Eggermont, S. (2016). “I don’t want to miss a thing”: A adolescents’ fear of missing out and its relationship to adolescents’ social needs, Facebook use, and Facebook related stress. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 1-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.083

Blackwell, D., Leaman, C., Tramposch, R., Osborne, C., & Liss, M. (2017). Extraversion, neuroticism, attachment style and fear of missing out as predictors of social media use and addiction. Personality and Individual Differences, 116, 69-72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.04.039

Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2008). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210-230.

Buckle, C. (2017). The mobile tipping point is happening among 16-24s. Retrieved from http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/the-mobile-tipping-point-is-happening-among-16-24s/, on 23.08.2017.

Bulut, Z. A., & Dogan, O. (2017). The ABCD typology: Profile and motivations of Turkish social network cites users. Computers in Human Behavior, 67, 73-83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.10.021

Bulbul, S., & Giray, S. (2011). Sosyodemografik ozellikler ile mutluluk algisi arasindaki iliski yapisinin analizi [Analysis of the relationship structure between socio-demographic features and happiness sensation]. Ege Academic Review, 11, 113-123.

Buyukozturk, S., Kilic Cakmak, E., Akgun, O. E., Karadeniz, S., &  Demirel, F. (2014). Bilimsel arastirma yontemleri [Scientific research methods] (18th Edition). Ankara: Pegem Akademi.

Campisi, J., Folan, D., Diehl, G., Kable, T., & Rademeyer, C. (2015). Social media users have different experiences, motivations, and quality of life. Psychiatry Research, 228(3), 774-780. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.04.042

Chen, X., Sin, S.-C. j., Theng, Y.-L., & Lee, C. S. (2015). Why student share misinformation on social media: Motivation, gender and study level differences. The Journal of Academic Libraainship, 41, 583-592. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.07.003

Chou, H.-T. G., & Edge, N. (2012). “They are happier and having better lives than I am”: the impact of using Facebook on perceptions of others' lives. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 15(2), 117-121. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2011.0324

Dal, N. E., & Dal, V. (2014). Kisilik ozellikleri ve sosyal ag sitesi kullanim aliskanliklari: Universite ogrencileri uzerine bir arastirma [Personality traits and social network sites usage habits: A Research on university students]. Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Journal of Social Sciences Institute, 6(11), 144-162.

van Dijk, B., Dadlani, P., van Halteren, A., & Biemans, M. (2010, August). Life changes, connection stays: photo sharing and social connectedness for people with special needs. In Proceedings of the 28th Annual European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (pp. 135-142). ACM..

Dogan, U. (2016). Effects of social network use on happiness, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction of high school students: Case of Facebook and Twitter. Education and Science, 41(183), 217-231. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15390/EB.2016.4616

Elhai, J. D., Levine, J. C., Dvorak, R. D., & Hall, B. J. (2016). Fear of missing out, need for touch, anxiety and depression are related to problematic smartphone use. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 509-516. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.079

Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C. & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends”: Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-1168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00367.x

Eren, F., Celik, I., & Akturk, A. O. (2014). Ortaokul ogrencilerinin Facebook algisi: Bir metafor calismasi [Secondary school students’ perceptions of Facebook: A Metaphor analysis]. Kastamonu Education Journal, 22(2), 635-648.

Eryilmaz, A. (2011). Ergen oznel iyi olusunun, oznel iyi olusu arttirma stratejilerini kullanma ile yasam amaclarini belirleme acisindan incelenmesi [Investigating adolescents’ subjective well-being with respect to using subjective well-being increasing strategies and determining life goals]. Dusunen Adam: Journal of Psychiatry & Neurological Sciences, 24, 44-51. doi: https://doi.org/10.5350/DAJPN2011240106

Eterovic-Soric, B., Choo, K.-K. R., Ashman, H., & Mubarak, S. (2017). Stalking the stalkers – detecting and deterring stalking behaviours using technology: A Review. Computers & Security, 70, 278-289. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cose.2017.06.008, on 21.08.2017.

Evasiuk, A. (2016). The impact of Facebook use on romantic relationships, (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). University of Alberta, Alberta/USA.

Goker, G., Demir, M., & Dogan, A. (2010). Ag toplumunda sosyallesme ve paylasim: Facebook uzerine ampirik bir arastirma (Socialization and sharing in the network society: an empirical research on Facebook). e-Journal of New World Sciences Academy, 5(2), 183-206.

Hart, M. J. (2010). A study on the motives of high school and undergraduate college students for using the social network site Facebook, (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). Liberty University, Virginia/USA.

Hether, H. J. (2009). Social media and health: social support and social capital on pregnancy-related social networking sites, (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). University of Southern California, California/USA.

Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwarz, N. (1999). Wellbeing: The Foundations of hedonic psychology. New York: Russel Sage.

Kane, G. C., Fichman, R. G., Gallaugher, J., & Glaser, J. (2009). Community relations 2.0. Harvard Business Review, 87, 45-50.

Kemp, S. (2017). Digital in 2017 global overview. Retrieved from https://wearesocial.com/special-reports/digital-in-2017-global-overview, on 15.07.2017.

Kim, J. & Lee, J.-E. R. (2011). The Facebook paths to happiness: Effects of the number of Facebook friends and self-presentation on subjective well-being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(6). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2010.0374

Kim, Y., Sohn, D., & Choi, S. M. (2011). Cultural difference in motivations for using social network sites: A Comparative study of American and Korean college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 365-372. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.08.015

Koc, M., & Karabatak, M. (2012). Sosyal aglarin ogrenciler uzerindeki etkisinin veri madenciligi kullanilarak incelenmesi [Investigation of the effect of social networks on students by using data mining]. e-Journal of New World Sciences Academy, 7(1), 155-164.

Kwon, O. & Wen, Y. (2010). An empirical study of the factors affecting social network service use. Computers in Human Behavior, 26, 254-263. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2009.04.011

Layard, R. (2005). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. London: Penguin Books.

Lin, K.-Y., & Lu, H.-P. (2011). Why people use social networking sites: An Empirical study integrating network externalities and motivation theory. Computer in Human Behavior, 27(3), 1152-1161. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.12.009

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L. & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803-855. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803.

Malik, A., Dhir, A. & Nieminen, M. (2016). Uses and gratifications of digital photo sharing on Facebook. Telematics and Informatics, 33(1), 129-138. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2015.06.009

Mander, J. (2015). Internet users have average of 5.54 social media accounts. Retrieved from http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/internet-users-have-average-of-5-54-social-media-accounts/, on 25.08.2017.

McAndrew, F. T., & Jeong, H. S. (2012). Who does what on Facebook? Age, sex, and relationship status as predictors of Facebook use. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2359-2365. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.007

McGrath, F. (2017). Top 10 reasons for using social media. Retrieved from http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/social-media/, on 25.08.2017.

Murray, C. (2008). Schools and social networking: Fear or education. Synergy, 6(1), 8-12.

Muscanell, N. L. & Guadagno, R. E. (2012). Make new friends or keep the old: Gender and personality differences in social networking use. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1), 107-112. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.08.016

Oberst, U., E. W., Stodt, B., Brand, M., & Chamarro, A. (2017). Negative consequences from heavy social networking in adolescents: The Mediating role of fear of missing out. Journal of Adolescence, 55, 51-60. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.008,

Obi, A. N. (2014). Time spent on Facebook vs. total time spent online: Effects on the quality of life of high school students, (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). Golden Gate University, California/USA.

Patton, M. Q. (2014). Nitel arastirma ve degerlendirme yontemleri [Qualitative research and evaluation methods]. (M. Butun; S. B. Demir, Trans. Ed.). Ankara: Pegem Akademi.

Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A., & Calvert, S. L. (2009). College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Development Psychology, 30(3), 227-238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.010, on 25.08.2017.

Pfeil, U., Arjan, R., & Zapharis, P. (2009). Age differences in online social networking: A Study of user profiles and the social capital divide among teenagers and older users in Myspace. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 643-654. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2008.08.015

Pittman, M. (2015). Creating, consuming and connecting: Examining the relationship between social media engagement and loneliness. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 4(1), 66-98. Retrieved from http://www.thejsms.org/tsmri/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/92/52, on 25.08.2017.

Pittman, M. & Reich, B. (2016). Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 155-167. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.084

Powell, J. (2009). 33 Million people in the room: How to create, influence, and run a successful business with social networking. New Jersey: FT Press.

Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 1841-1848. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014

Rae, J. R. & Lonborg, S. D. (2015). Do motivations for using Facebook moderate the association between Facebook use and psychological well-being? Frontiers in Psychology, 6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00771

Robson, C. (2015). Bilimsel arastirma yontemleri gercek dunya arastirmasi [Real World Research] (1st Edition). (S. Cinkir; N. Demirkasimoglu, Trans. Ed.) Ankara: Ani Yayincilik.

Rosen, L. D., Whaling, K., Rab, S., Carrier, L. M., & Cheever, N. A. (2013). Is Facebook creating “iDisorders”? The link between clinical symptoms of psychiatric disorders and technology use, attitudes and anxiety. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 1243-1254. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.012

Ross, C., Orr, E. S., Sisic, M., Arseneault, J. M., Simmering, M. G., & Orr, R. R. (2009). Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 578-586. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2008.12.024

Scott, H., Woods, H. C., & Biello, S. M. (2017). Bedtime social media use in adolescence: Underlying motivations and impact on sleep. Sleep Medicine, 40(1), e298. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.11.876

Sidekli, S. (2013a). Media literacy:  Experiences of 6th 7th and 8th graders. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(1), https://doi.org/143-159. 0.7813/2075-4124.2013/5-1/B.24

Sidekli, S. (2013b). Media literacy: Perspectives from elementary school children’s views. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(2), 201-210.

Spraggins, A. (2009). Problematic use of online social networking sites for college students: Prevalence, predictors, and association with well-being, (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). University of Florida, California/USA.

Sener, G. (2009). Turkiye’de Facebook kullanimi arastirmasi. [A study of use facebook in Turkey] Paper presented at the INET 14. Conference Internet in Turkey, Istanbul.

Tandoc Jr., E. C., Ferrucci, P., & Duffy, M. (2015). Facebook use, envy, and depression among college students: is Facebooking depressing? Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 139-146. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.10.053, on 17.08.2017.

Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up digital: how the next generation is changing your world. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Taylor, I. H. (2015). Facebook and the being liked motive. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education Research, 1(4), 1473-1486. Retrieved from http://dergipark.ulakbim.gov.tr/ijsser/, on 23.08.2017.

Tifferet, S. & Vilnai-Yavetz, I. (2014). Gender differences in Facebook self-presentation: an international randomized study. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 388-399. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.016

Turkish Statistical Institute. (2016). Hanehalki bilisim teknolojileri kullanim arastirmasi [Information and communication technology (ict) usage survey on households and individuals]. Retrieved from www.tuik.gov.tr, on 12.08.2017.

Turkish Statistical Institute. (2017). Adrese dayali nufus kayit sistemi sonuclari, 2016 [The results of address based population registration system, 2016]. Retrieved from www.tuik.gov.tr, on 12.08.2017.

Turkish Language Association (TDK) (2011). Guncel Turkce Sozluk [Contemporary Turkish Dictionary]. Retrieved from www.tdk.gov.tr, on 12.08.2017.

Valkenburg, P. M., Peter, J. & Schouten, A. P. (2006). Friend networking sites and their relationship to adolescents' well-being and social self-esteem. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(5), 584-590. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9.584

Vural, Z. B. & Bat, M. (2010). Yeni bir iletisim ortami olarak sosyal medya: Ege Universitesi Iletisim Fakultesine yonelik bir arastirma (Social media as a new communication environment: A Research on Ege University Faculty of Communication). Journal of Yasar University, 20(5), 3348-3382.

Wang, J.-L., Jackson, L. A., Wang, H.-Z., & Gaskin, J. (2015). Predicting social networking site (SNS) use: Personality, attitudes, motivation and internet self-efficacy. Personality and Indivual Differences, 80, 119-124. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.02.016

Witkin, N. D. (2014). The role of personality, attachment, and narcissism in regards to social networking: AN Examination of social network users, (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). Alliant International University, San Diego/USA.

Yildirim, A. & Simsek, H. (2013). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel arastirma yontemleri [Qualitative research methods in social sciences] (9th Edition). Ankara: Seckin Yayincilik.

Young, K. (2016). Mobiles capture 50% of time for 16-24s. Retrieved from http://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/mobiles-capture-50-of-time-for-16-24s/, on 21.08.2017.

Young, R., Len-Rios, M., & Young, H. (2017). Romantic motivations for social media use, social comparison, and online aggression among adolescents. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 385-395. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.04.021