Gratification of Social Media

Different parts of social media fulfill our humanistic needs.

Sarah Scott

There are five main categories of needs that we try to fulfill or gratify with social media. Communication Theory says the main categories are cognitive needs, affective needs, personal integrative needs, social integrative needs, and tension-free needs.

Definition of Needs

In class, we read an article that described the needs.

Cognitive needs are the needs that cause people to want to learn information. Affective needs are the needs that satisfy emotions. Personal integrative needs are the needs that cause people to want to feel self-assured or have self-esteem. Social integrative needs are those in which people want to feel a part of society. Tension-free needs are those in which people want to relieve stress or have a “diversion,” as a video in class described it.

Fulfilling Needs

Different parts of social media fulfill different needs at different times. Facebook is different from Twitter in use. Facebook is more for disseminating complex information. Twitter is for getting the message out quickly.

“Facebook is primarily used for socializing, entertainment, self-status seeking, and information.”

Uses and Gratification of Posting Selfies on Social 
Media 

Facebook allows us to fulfill our social integrative needs by allowing us to interact with our social group of friends, and even those we don’t know. Facebook also gives us diversion and entertainment when our friends and entertainers post things. So, it fulfills our tension-free needs. We also fulfill the need to have self-esteem because we feel important when people like and comment on our posts. We also fulfill the cognitive need because there is a lot of different information and news being shared on Facebook. Emerald.com says, “Facebook is well suited to social interaction and information sharing in the virtual world.”

Social media has many types of shared content, in which the users can find gratification.

Works Cited:

Hossain, A. (2019) Effects of Uses and Gratification on Social Media Use. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/PRR-07-2018-0023/full/html

Kearney, A. (2018) Uses and gratification of Posting Selfies on Social Media. Retrieved from: https://scholarworks.rit.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=10871&context=theses

New House Social Media. (2015) Uses & Gratification Theory – Social Media. Retrieved from: https://newhousesocialmedia.syr.edu/uses-gratification-theory-social-media/

Uses and Gratification Theory. (NA). Retrieved from: https://www.communicationtheory.org/uses-and-gratification-theory/

Why do we watch TV? | Uses and Gratification theory explained. (2016) Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aopqPs7rb_Q

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