Gender Differences in the Use of Social Media: Australian Postgraduate Students’ Evidence
Ashkan Mirzay Fashami
Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Google Scholar Download Pdf

This study investigates the differences between male and female usage of social media in Australia. The sample consists of ten postgraduate students at the Queensland University of Technology who use social media platforms, including six males and four females.Nine themes and 41 codes are identified. This study analyses five major themes, namely, personal life, professional life, sharing, leaders or followers, and competition. Six participants consider themselves as either leaders or followers in their social media usage, making this theme the most acknowledged theme. However, three participants use social media for their personal lives, and social media challenge three participants. Therefore, personal life and competition are the least important cause of social media usage. This study contributes by shedding some light on social media usage among postgraduate students. It helps universities to choose among different social media platforms for their educational purposes for their postgraduate students.


Australia, Female, Gender, Male, Postgraduate Student, Social Media.


1) Gould, M. (2013) The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways. LITURGICAL Press.

2) Kietzmann, J.H., et al. (2011) Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media.. Business Horizons. 54(3): 241-251.

3) Manzoor, S.A. and A. Khan. (2019) Social media shapes university students’ knowledge and perception of environmental issues. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Studies. 2(10): 17-28.

4) Almenara-Niebla, S. and C. Ascanio-Sánchez. (2020) Connected Sahrawi refugee diaspora in Spain: Gender, social media and digital transnational gossip. European Journal of Cultural Studies. 23(5): 768-783.

5) Statista.2014 Statistics and facts about Social Networks. Available from:

6) Kwon, O. and Y. Wen. (2010) An empirical study of the factors affecting social network service use. Computers in Human Behavior. 26(2): 254-263.

7) Bamman, D., J. Eisenstein, and T. Schnoebelen. (2014) Gender identity and lexical variation in social media. Journal of Sociolinguistics. 18(2): 135-160.

8) Herring, S.C. and J.C. Paolillo. (2006) Gender and genre variation in weblogs. Journal of Sociolinguistics. 10(4): 439- 459.

9) Heylighen, F. and J.-M. Dewaele. (2002) Variation in the contextuality of language: An empirical measure. Foundations of Science. 7(3): 293-340.

10) Argamon, S., et al. (2003) Gender, genre, and writing style in formal written texts. Text & Talk. 23(3): 321-346.

11) Rao, D., et al.(2010). Classifying latent user attributes in Twitter. in Proceedings of the 2nd international workshop on Search and mining user-generated contents. Toronto, ON: ACM.

12) Kiesling, S.F. (2004) Dude. American Speech. 79(3): 281-305.

13) Evers, C.W., et al. (2013) Young people, social media, social network sites and sexual health communication in Australia:" This is funny, you should watch it". International Journal of Communication. 7(1): 355 - 359.

14) Wright, C.L. and M. Rubin. (2017) “Get lucky!” Sexual content in music lyrics, videos and social media and sexual cognitions and risk among emerging adults in the USA and Australia. Sex Education. 17(1): 41-56.

15) Kaplan, A.M. and M. Haenlein. (2010) Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons. 53(1): 59-68.

16) Anttiroiko, A.-V. and R. Savolainen. (2011) Towards library 2.0: The adoption of web 2.0 technologies in public libraries. Libri. 61(2): 87-99.

17) Paul, M.J. and M. Dredze.(2011). You are what you tweet: Analyzing twitter for public health. in Fifth international AAAI conference on weblogs and social media. Baltimore: Citeseer.

18) De Choudhury, M., S. Counts, and E. Horvitz.(2013). Predicting postpartum changes in emotion and behavior via social media. in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. Paris.

19) Kosinski, M., D. Stillwell, and T. Graepel. (2013) Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior. National Acad Sciences. 110(15): 5802-5805.

20) Argamon, S., et al. (2009) Automatically profiling the author of an anonymous text. Communications of the ACM. 52(2): 119-123.

21) Jones, R., et al.(2007). " I know what you did last summer" query logs and user privacy. in Proceedings of the sixteenth ACM conference on Conference on information and knowledge management. Lisboa: CIKM.

22) Pal, S. and K. Misra. (2019) Effect of social media on learning resistance among university students. ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research. 9(1): 194-200.

23) Gross, E.F. (2004) Adolescent Internet use: What we expect, what teens report. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 25(6): 633-649.

24) Vasan, M. (2016) Netizens’ attitude towards social networking sites - A factor analysis approach. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development. 3(3): 201-204.

25) Grieve, R., et al. (2013) Face-to-face or Facebook: Can social connectedness be derived online? Computers in Human Behavior. 29(3): 604-609.

26) Anderson, B., et al. (2012) Facebook psychology: Popular questions answered by research. Psychology of Popular Media Culture. 1(1): 23-37.

27) Boyd, D.M. and N.B. Ellison. (2007) Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computermediated Communication. 13(1): 210-230.

28) Madge, C., et al. (2009) Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: 'It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work'. Learning, Media and Technology. 34(2): 141-155.

29) Karakayali, N. and A. Kilic. (2013) More network conscious than ever? Challenges, strategies, and analytic labor of users in the Facebook environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 18(2): 175-193.

30) Back, M.D., et al. (2010) Facebook profiles reflect actual personality, not self-idealization. Psychological Science. 21(3): 372-374.

31) Matzler, K., et al. (2008) Personality traits and knowledge sharing. Journal of Economic Psychology. 29(3): 301-313.

32) Zheng, W., et al. (2016) Profile pictures on social media: Gender and regional differences. Computers in Human Behavior. 63: 891-898.

33) Kapidzic, S. and S.C. Herring. (2015) Race, gender, and self-presentation in teen profile photographs. New Media & Society. 17(6): 958-976.

34) Seidman, G. and O.S. Miller. (2013) Effects of gender and physical attractiveness on visual attention to Facebook profiles. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 16(1): 20-24.

35) Yang, Q. and Z. Li. (2014) A picture is worth a thousand words: Chinese college students’ self-presentation on social networking sites. Journal of Communications Media Studies. 6(1): 70-94.

36) Döring, N., A. Reif, and S. Poeschl. (2016) How gender-stereotypical are selfies? A content analysis and comparison with magazine adverts. Computers in Human Behavior. 55: 955-962.

37) Reed, P. (2013) Hashtags and retweets: Using Twitter to aid community, communication and casual (informal) learning. Research in Learning Technology. 21: 1-21.

38) Simoes, P. and J. Mota.(2010). Twitter: The Heart of your PLE. in The PLE Conference 2010.

39) Couros, A.(2010) Developing personal learning networks for open and social learning, in Emerging technologies in distance education Athabasca University: Athabasca, AB. p. 109-128.

40) Palmer, S. (2013) Characterisation of the use of Twitter by Australian universities. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 35(4): 333-344.

41) Evans, C. (2014) Twitter for teaching: Can social media be used to enhance the process of learning? British Journal of Educational Technology. 45(5): 902-915.

42) Conole, G. and P. Alevizou. (2010) A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. A report commissioned by the Higher Education Academy August 2010.

43) Fernández Sánchez, M.R., F.I. Revuelta Domínguez, and M.J. Sosa Díaz. (2012) Redes sociales y microblogging: Innovación didáctica en la formación superior. RELATEC. 11(1): 61–74.

44) McArthur, J.A. and K. Bostedo-Conway. (2012) Exploring the relationship between student-instructor interaction on Twitter and student perceptions of teacher behaviors. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 24(3): 286-292.

45) Kwak, H., et al.(2010). What is Twitter, a social network or a news media? in Proceedings of the 19th international conference on World wide web. Raleigh, NC: International World Wide Web Conference Committee

46) Carpenter, J.P. and D.G. Krutka. (2014) How and why educators use Twitter: A survey of the field. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. 46(4): 414-434.

47) Badge, J., et al. (2012) Observing emerging student networks on a microblogging service. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 7(1): 90-98.

48) Rinaldo, S.B., S. Tapp, and D.A. Laverie. (2011) Learning by tweeting: Using Twitter as a pedagogical tool. Journal of Marketing Education. 33(2): 193-203.

49) Johnson, K.A. (2011) The effect of Twitter posts on students’ perceptions of instructor credibility. Learning, Media and Technology. 36(1): 21-38.

50) Duggan, M., et al. (2015) Social media update 2014. Pew Research Center. 19: 1-2.

51) Kim, K.-S., S.-C.J. Sin, and E.Y. Yoo-Lee. (2014) Undergraduates' use of social media as information sources. College & Research Libraries. 75(4): 442–457.

52) Špiranec, S. and M.B. Zorica. (2010) Information Literacy 2.0: Hype or discourse refinement? Journal of Documentation. 66(1): 140-153.

53) Witek, D. and T. Grettano. (2012) Information literacy on Facebook: An analysis. Reference Services Review. 40(2): 242-257.

54) Chen, X., et al. (2015) Why students share misinformation on social media: Motivation, gender, and study-level differences. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 41(5): 583-592.

55) Connaway, L.S., T.J. Dickey, and M.L. Radford. (2011) “If it is too inconvenient I'm not going after it:” Convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking behaviors. Library & Information science research. 33(3): 179-190.

56) Lim, S. and C. Simon. (2011) Credibility judgment and verification behavior of college students concerning Wikipedia. First Monday. 16(4): 1-26.

57) Marengoni, A., et al. (2011) Aging with multimorbidity: A systematic review of the literature. Ageing Research Reviews. 10(4): 430-439.

58) Su, R., J. Rounds, and P.I. Armstrong. (2009) Men and things, women and people: A meta-analysis of sex differences in interests. Psychological Bulletin. 135(6): 859-884.

59) Huffaker, D.A. and S.L. Calvert. (2005) Gender, identity, and language use in teenage blogs. Journal of Computermediated Communication. 10(2): JCMC10211.

60) Sap, M., et al.(2014) Developing age and gender predictive lexica over social media. in Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP). Doha: Association for Computational Linguistics.

61) Mislove, A., et al. (2011) Understanding the demographics of Twitter users. ICWSM. 11(5): 25-29.

62) Goswami, S., S. Sarkar, and M. Rustagi.(2009). Stylometric analysis of bloggers’ age and gender. in Third international AAAI conference on weblogs and social media. San Jose, CA.

63) Liu, W. and D. Ruths.(2013). What’s in a name? using first names as features for gender inference in twitter. in 2013 AAAI Spring Symposium Series. Stanford, CA: Citeseer.

64) Women, H.(2012) Social media by gender: Women dominate Pinterest, Twitter, men dominate Reddit, YouTube. The Huffington Post, June 21.

65) Haferkamp, N. and N.C. Krämer. (2011) Social comparison 2.0: Examining the effects of online profiles on socialnetworking sites. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 14(5): 309-314.

66) Starr, L.R. and J. Davila. (2008) Excessive reassurance seeking, depression, and interpersonal rejection: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 117(4): 762–775.

67) Lenhart, A., et al.(2007) Teens and social media. Pew internet and American life project, Pew Research Center: Washington, DC.

68) Rideout, V.J., U.G. Foehr, and D.F. Roberts.2010 Generation M 2: Media in the lives of 8-to 18-year-olds. Available from:

69) Lenhart, A.2012 Teens & online video. Pew Internet & American Life Project; Available from:

70) Herring, S.C. and S. Kapidzic. (2015) Teens, gender, and self-presentation in social media. International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences. 2: 1-16.

71) Barker, V. (2009) Older adolescents' motivations for social network site use: The influence of gender, group identity, and collective self-esteem. Cyberpsychology & Behavior. 12(2): 209-213.

72) Peluchette, J. and K. Karl. (2008) Social networking profiles: An examination of student attitudes regarding use and appropriateness of content. CyberPsychology & Behavior. 11(1): 95-97.

73) Hennink, M., I. Hutter, and A. Bailey. (2010) Qualitative Research Methods. SAGE Publications.

74) Tracy, S.J. (2012) Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. Wiley.

75) Powell, R.A. and H.M. Single. (1996) Focus groups. International journal for quality in health care. 8(5): 499-504.

76) Morgan, D.L. (1997) Focus Groups as Qualitative Research. SAGE Publications.

77) Krueger, R.A. and M.A. Casey. (2009) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. SAGE Publications.

78) Pandit, N.R. (1996) The creation of theory: A recent application of the grounded theory method. The qualitative report. 2(4): 1-14.

79) Corbin, J. and A. Strauss. (2007) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. SAGE Publications.

80) Junco, R. (2014) Engaging students through social media: Evidence-based practices for use in student affairs. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

81) Smith, B.G. and T.D. Gallicano. (2015) Terms of engagement: Analyzing public engagement with organizations through social media. Computers in Human Behavior. 53: 82-90.

82) Hung, K., S.Y. Li, and D.K. Tse. (2011) Interpersonal trust and platform credibility in a Chinese multibrand online community. Journal of Advertising. 40(3): 99-112.

83) Lau, W.W., V. Lui, and S.K. Chu. (2017) The use of wikis in a science inquiry-based project in a primary school. Educational Technology Research and Development. 65(3): 533-553.

84) Cox, D. and S. McLeod. (2014) Social media strategies for school principals. NASSP Bulletin. 98(1): 5-25.

85) Lau, W.W. (2017) Effects of social media usage and social media multitasking on the academic performance of university students. Computers in Human Behavior. 68: 286-291.

86) Wood, S.A., et al. (2013) Using social media to quantify nature-based tourism and recreation. Sci. Rep. 3.

87) Greysen, S.R., T. Kind, and K.C. Chretien. (2010) Online professionalism and the mirror of social media. Journal of general internal medicine. 25(11): 1227-1229.


Latest Article and Current Issue


By 1Rahmadya Putra Nugraha, 2Nor Fauziana Ibrahim,3 Tai Hen Toong

Indexed In

Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar Avatar