computer-mediated communication, CMC, media system dependency, dependency, internet, myspace, diffusion of innovations, technology cluster, social networking, mass communication


MySpace is a type of "social networking" website where people meet, socialize, and create friendships. The way MySpace members, particularly younger individuals, interact online underscores the changing nature of mass media. Media system dependency states that individuals become reliant on media in their daily life because of fundamental human goals. This reliance, termed a dependency, leads to repeated use. Media system dependency was applied in the current study to explain how and why individuals became habitual MySpace users. To attain results a survey was administered to a convenience sampling of 401 adult undergraduates at the University of Central Florida. Members reported MySpace dependency had a moderate correlation to MySpace use, and they actively used the website an average of 1.3 hours of use per day. Results indicated members use MySpace to primarily satisfy play and interaction orientation dependencies. MySpace use was found to have a correlation with number of MySpace friends. "Number of friends created" in turn had a correlation with MySpace dependency, as people returned to interact with their friends. Individual factors were also found to be a source of influence in MySpace dependency. These individual factors were demographics, psychological factors related to use of the Internet, and psychological factors related to use of MySpace. Factors related to MySpace, extroversion and self-disclosure, were positively correlated with intensity of dependency. The influence of factors related to the Internet was partly supported; computer self-efficacy was not significantly related to MySpace dependency, while computer anxiety was significantly related to MySpace dependency. Speed of connection to the Internet and available time to use the Internet were not related to MySpace dependency. Additionally, significant differences were found between genders in overall dependency, extroversion, self-disclosure, computer anxiety, and computer self-efficacy. These findings provide evidence that MySpace members were little, if at all, constrained by factors related to use of the Internet, but were attracted to the websites for similar reasons as real-life relationships. Finally, MySpace is just one of the large number of online resources that are predominantly social, such as email, message boards, and online chat. This study found that through a "technology cluster" MySpace members use these other social innovations more frequently than non-members. However, members also used significantly more non-social innovations, which may indicate that MySpace members are part of a larger technology cluster than anticipated or perhaps are in the same category of innovation adopter.


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Graduation Date





Brown, Timothy


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Sciences


Nicholson School of Communication

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Length of Campus-only Access


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Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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Communication Commons