Microblogging and Life Changes: An Ethnographic and Statistical Analysis of Young Adults

Abstract

Microblogging has revolutionized people�s interaction on the web. This paper investigates the changes in the microblogging practices of young adults after they have experienced life changing events associated with studying and working overseas. To test for the presence of significant changes in microblogging behaviour the empirical analysis focusses on young Chinese adults who have moved to Australia to work and/or study. The data consist of a three-tier approach, with the first tier being based on questionnaires; the second tier consists of formal in-depth interviews, while the third tier involves an ethnographic analysis by tracking the online microblogging practice of the participants. The behavioural changes are analysed using a range of statistical models which take into account microblogging practices relating to choice of social media platforms, behavioural strategies and frequency. Formally this involves using panel ordered probit models to test for potential significant changes in social media practices. In specifying the empirical models, key attributes characterizing the participants are also incorporated into the analysis, including gender, working status, education qualifications, and length of time living in Australia. The empirical results reveal evidence of significant changes in key social media practices of Chinese young adults in moving from China to Australia. Whilst the empirical analysis focusses on Chinese young adults, the analysis is also applicable to the changing microblogging practices of young adults in other countries. The results also have important implications for the well-being of young adults and the mobility of society in general.



Author Information
Marsha Berry, RMIT University, Australia
Xinru Chen, RMIT University, Australia
Vance L. Martin, University of Melbourne, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2014
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology

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