Motives for SMS Use


Peters, Oscar and Almekinders, Johan and Buren, Ruud van and Snippers, Roy and Wessels, Jacqueline (2003) Motives for SMS Use. In: 53rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, May 23-27, 2003 , San Diego, CA.

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Abstract:This study was designed to identify, from a uses-and-gratifications point of view, the motives that young people in the age of 12 to 25 have for using SMS. The study also aimed to assess whether these SMS motives are related to age, gender, current education, mobile phone experience, SMS experience and SMS use. We located four types of motives for using SMS: entertainment, social interaction, immediate access, and efficiency (in time). Immediate access and social interaction were most salient and more often endorsed by young people than entertainment and efficiency (in time). The results of this study show that the most salient reason for young people in the age of 12 to 25 to use SMS is the convenience of being able to contact and interact with their peers whenever they want and wherever they are. To distinguish heavy SMS users from moderate SMS users, the following significant predictors were established: entertainment, social interaction, immediate access, mobile phone use, and current education. A remarkable finding from our study is that apparently, adolescents (age 12 to 18) use SMS more often for intrinsic or social use, like entertainment and social interaction, than young adults (age 18 to 25), who use SMS more often for instrumental or task-oriented use, like efficiency (in time). Another interesting finding was that although male and female users do not differ with respect to the number of messages sent, female users are apparently more enthusiastic about using SMS as a means of communication than male users.
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