Why Students Use Social Networking Sites After Crisis Situations


Communities respond to tragedy by making virtuous use of social networking sites for a variety of purposes. We asked students to describe why they used a social networking site after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, then evaluated their responses using content analysis. Students went predominantly to Facebook (99%). Most (59%) of the 426 students that responded went there because their friends were already there, and to find out if their friends were OK (28%) (and to let them know they were OK).



Social networking, Social media, Crises, Content analysis, Qualitative data


Sheetz, Steven D., Edward A. Fox, Andrew Fitzgerald, Sean Palmer, Donald J. Shoemaker, Andrea Kavanaugh. "Why Students Use Social Networking Sites After Crisis Situations". Poster, 2011.