Problem Statement: Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are the latest examples of information and communication technologies that have been widely-adopted by students and, have the potential to become an important resource to support their educational, social and emotional communications and collaborations with faculty and their daily life (Roblyer, McDaniel, Webb, Herman & Witty, 2010). Increase and development of social networking sites have changed socialization patterns of young people with the usage of internet to mediate personal interactions and communications. Young people especially faculty students started to use social networking sites as a part of their daily life. In addition, SNSs have both positive and negative features and impacts on young people’s life.
Purpose of Study: The present study mainly attempts to explore pre-service teachers’ use of SNSs and level of SNSs addictive tendencies.
Methods: The participants of the study were undergraduate pre-service teachers (n=2539) enrolled in 12 different programs in Fatih Faculty of Education of Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey. Three instruments developed by researchers were used for data collection in the study. Demographic information (age, gender, and grade level) was collected through the first instrument. SNSs usage levels were asked to participants through the second instrument. The third instrument was SNS Addiction Scale (SAS) consisted of 17 5-point Likert scale items. In this research, the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), independent samples t-test and descriptive statistical techniques such as frequency, average and percentage were employed for statistical analysis. Data were analyzed using PASW Statistics 18. Significance was set at a minimum of 0,01.
Findings and Results: The results show that the pre-service teachers accept SNSs as a part of their life. They feel themselves comfortable. The pre-service teachers do not see themselves as a SNS addictive tendencies (X=1,64), but they firstly open their SNS page when they enter internet (X=3,06). Results also show that there is a meaningful difference between pre-service teachers’ SNSs addictive tendencies level and overall time spent SNSs daily (p<.01).
Conclusions and Recommendations: Pre-service teachers have used SNSs commonly during their education life and SNSs composed a significant change in the social life of these students. Pre-service teachers spent a considerable time on SNSs especially communication and entertainment activities over total internet usage. Future research should focus on more education faculty students from a wide range of locations. Also detailed studies should be conducted for what reason and when university students or pre-service teachers show addictive tendencies and what can be done to reduce time spent on SNSs and how these addictive tendencies can be managed.
Keywords: Social networking sites, addictive tendencies, pre-service teachers