Chapter two: Literature Review
2.1 Online communication
Online communication is a visual and written
communication that entered in the world of Mass Media when inventors started to
conceive computers in the middle of 20th century. Due to the
evolution of Mass Media, Internet began popularised and offered some services
to facilitate long distance communication to people, in 1990. According to Dr.
Belfakir, University Schools of arts and Human Sciences, Online communication is
a type of communication that consists of using Internet and services online to
communicate with people, using communication online provides interaction to the
target audience by using different channels.
In Madagascar, the beginning of internet was at the
end of 1998 with 2.2 per 100 people Internet users. The number of Internet
Users start to grow rapidly during the Great Recession in 2007 and 2008, since
then, it continued raising with 35% of growth, according to Wordbank
2.1.2 Objectives of online communication
Internet is one of a medium used to communicate daily,
it connects people around the World. Sandesh reported in a blog named:
Blogtechnika that people use internet firstly to get information, they can use
search engines like google and yahoo to learn news and facts. Secondly, it is
for Social Networking, people can talk with friend and family by using social
networking website like Facebook. Also, internet entertain people like videos,
movies, games. Not only does it market but It allows the users to create
business or do marketing, marketers can launch products on social media or
build a website to promotes them. And essentially, Internet furnishes online
education for students and learners.
By the way, as from the source: the McGraw-Hill
Companies, Online communication is used to create awareness, Internet users
becomes aware of the facts that Internet is sharing to the them. After that,
the mass become interested and consumed it. There are also companies that use
internet to create image and strong reputation. It is crucial for a company
nowadays having website because it helps to create a strong brand.
2.1.3 Online communication tools
Many devices are used to communicate online: laptop,
mobile phone, tablet or computer. Each of them contains tools to be utilized to
exchange messages and information. The site ezTalks revealed some various tools
– Video Conferencing: this is usually utilized in
business for making conference and meetings, in fact it authorizes to talk
immediately and face to face via web camera, makes a collaboration of two
companies easier without wasting time. Hence, meetings occur in various time
zones and cost is effective and affordable.
– Online Messages for having text conversations, this
tool is effective and immediate. People can have private chats, share videos
and files and all others services that devices are able to do.
– Whiteboards: this tool is recent and needs mouse to
make content, draw in an electronic whiteboard. It is especially necessary in
learning and for education.
– Email: electronic email allows to send and receive
files from any destination. It can be used whether personally or professionally.
2.1.4 Social Networking definition
By definition Social Networking is “the creation and maintenance of personal and
business relationships especially online”, – Miriam Webster. Social Media
is also “a group of Internet-based
applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web
2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content”. Social
Media is considered as a digital media throughout devices to share messages,
news, information. Therefore, people needs the use of applications available on
mobiles, because of that, social networking is almost cheap and easy to use.
According to Daniel Nation (Lifewire.com), Social
Networking influences a large number of people and become the most used
components of the web. It consists of interacting with friends and groups,
meeting new people, sharing opinion and point of view. There, everyone can
express freely and share interests. In addition, internet users like social
networking because it helps them to get job, some of them make their own
business by using social networking.
In Madagascar, Facebook is in the first place, and
become the most used social media in the capital, reported by Thierry
Ratsizehena. Therefore, The Malagasy site Koolsaina.com informed about the
existence of the service Free Basics in order to connect freely to Facebook,
the service proposed to the clients to free access some site like Google,
Facebook, Messenger and Whatsapp. That is why social media users grow rapidly
in the capital.
2.2 Target Audiences
In simply way, according to Cambridge Dictionary,
Target Audience is the specific people that to which the messages, or
information from a source are conducted. In social networking, it is more
complicated as the users can see various documents from web, so knowing and
understanding audience’s needs are important to keep them interested.
An article from Forbes written by Jayson DeMers
defined some ways to decode the target audience. Firstly, it is fundamental to
know who are the audience with their ages and profiles. Secondly, their desire
can help to keep them attracted, understanding their problems can help to find
the solutions that they expect. Then, we need to choose the types of media
channels, to identify the most effective channel for the appropriate articles,
it is good to know if they read blogs or use websites. After that, the articles
or the information must be beneficial for them, if the results are positives,
it means that the audience are well defined.
The youngsters in the capital, called “les jeunes
tananariviens” are mostly the target audience as we can see in the image below,
from the source socialbakers, the age between 18-24 years occupied a large part
that explain more the age background of Facebook users. 25 – 34years old
follows it afterwards.
2.3 Magic Bullet Theories
Magic Bullet Theories is a model of communication, according
to Dana Griffin in Chron.com, that portrays how the mass react to media. The
theory also declares that Media had an immediate, powerful and direct effect to
Mass. It can be called hypodermic needle model as well, it describes the role
of media that diffuse directly the message to its audience, therefore, the mass
act passively while receiving it. In fact, the mass cannot resist to everything
that the media send, so people risks to believe all facts that they got and
media become dangerous for them. In other meaning, the message is injected to
particular audience and been accepted unconsciously by them. Lasswell theory of
magic bullet think that the receiver which is the mass is influenced badly, he
also claimed that people are passive so they are manipulated easily.
This model of communication has been used since the
Second World War II in 1930 (UKEssays) in Germany and United States. This
theory caused many changes to people, as the messages contains different ideas,
this results diversity of culture, behavior, beliefs, values and attitudes. Harold
Lasswell affirmed that during the World War, propagandist messages influenced
many people to change their mind. Hence, it became a technique for doing
propaganda during the World War.
In 1940, the Magic Bullet Theory was disapproved by
Lazarsfeld, the research that he conducted during the election of Roosvelt in
1940 stated that the public was not unperturbed by the campaign.Consequently,
Lazarsfeld deduced that the campaign message did not influence the public,
which meant that it was not powerful.
Indeed, people cannot control media and are powerless
because, the way message are sent to the audience define human beings and
values. Media effects are differentiated by the education of people, religion
and politics (reported by UKessays), by the way, some people are less sensitive
to the media effects and some are not due to the diversity of them.
In the capital of Madagascar: Antananarivo, Facebook
influences radically teenagers, this leads to changing of lifestyle (according
to TPE Groupe 1 on the site Prezi). Malagasy people are attracted new cultures
and start to forget their own culture.
2.4 Effects of using Facebook
2.4.1 Positive Effects:
Facebook is one of social networking site which gains
more and more popularity and become indispensable for young people in their
life. There are many positive points from using it..
A BBC report in 2013 states generally that people use
Social Networking to express themselves. They have liberty to share opinions,
feelings, videos and photos. The users are effectively able to see whatever
their friend and family’s activities, it is a good way to entertain people
after a stressful day.
In the site TurboFuture,
Nick McGillivray stated some advantages:
At first, Facebook allows students to connect with
teachers and make their collaboration easier. Thus, many students use social
media to find researches and get information to support their education. Also,
learners utilize Facebook to discuss and debate topics for their assignments.
One utility of Facebook is making election, politician
can increase the votes of publics and favorizes his political party, he can do
his campaign online and share information of future events or activities.
In addition to that, Facebook and other social
networks increases awareness of the viewers because there, messages are quick
and instant, information is diffused rapidly like breaking news. Basically, it
has the role to inform people on the latest news that happen around the world
and make people aware of changes.
Facebook facilitates widely communication with friends
and family. 52% of teenagers confirm that they build friendships due to social
media, some of them make new friends and talk with people they do not
For professional use, Facebook offers many
opportunities like marketing and business, unemployed people have their chance
to get a job as recruiters can create thousands of jobs online.
However, Facebook can also impact negatively the
users. Still reported by Nick McGillivray, there some threats caused by
Facebook which can be danger for humans:
In the first place, Facebook causes carelessness of
education. Students who waste their time in Facebook everyday, risk of having
“grades dropped” at school, because it reduces concentration and the
productivity of students.
Secondly, on social Media, privacy is insecure despite
the privacy policies of the site. Young people like to share life and personal
information to be seen by the public. Therefore, teenagers think their posts like
photos, are out of danger and they do not grab attention to read about the
privacy policies unfortunately.
We can also find different forms of crime while using
it, there are sites created specifically for propaganda. Copyright of the
authors may not be respected as well because users can copy and share photos or
videos from other sources. Apart from that, cybercriminal rate is higher as
some other people are able to hack, and build viruses online. In fact, bullying
and threatening messages are also common in Facebook, 49% of students affirmed
to be victims of attacks that leads to depression or even suicide.
Facebook can disconnect people from reality and make
lose of real friends. People spend time online instead of making face-to-face
communication. Once they become obsessed, they do not pay attention to family
time but prefer checking their devices at any time. While, being disconnected
to the reality provokes loneliness, life disorders and depression.
Moreover, all information spread on social network is
not necessarily true, Facebook contains many different fake news and rumors.
For examples, people used to follow treatment of health problems online instead
of going to hospital, this is very dangerous for the patient. In addition, the
various advertising available on the cite encourages people to spend money more
And above all, Facebook is a waste of time, rather
than doing physical activities or working, it perturbates our daily life.
2.5 Uses and Gratifications Theory
2.5.1 Definition and Assumptions of Uses and
By definition, Uses and Gratifications theory is a
common approach to comprehend mass communication, the theory aims to
concentrate on audience and to regarding particularly “what people do with
media” instead of “what media does to people” (Katz 1959). It satisfies
public’s expectation by understanding why and how audience discover media. It presumes
that people are very active in responding and analyzing media, they are also
aware of their choice to fulfill their needs and gratifications.
The theory first appeared in 1940 while studying the
angle of uses and gratifications theory in listening radio (Lazarsfeld, Paul F
1940). Later, it was assigned to the professor Jay Blumler and the sociologist
Elihu Katz that imply the departure from Hypodermic needle model.
According to McQuail (2010), the research of the
theory analyzes the reason why people listen to radio programs, it rises why
people use media and the benefits from it. Communication researches apply uses
and gratifications theories to examine and interpret any gratifications people
get from media. Technologies insertion have change the use of Media as audience
get mediated by using social networks (Li 2005), therefore, consumers of social
media have the benefit to seek information that they need.
Uses and Gratifications approach
According to the research done by Katz and Blumler,
the audience are supposed to be active in the mass communication process. Media
also challenge with other sources of gratification to attract many audience.
The media goals for the audience are categorized in 5 uses according to the
research: inform and educate audience, identify with characters of situation,
entertain consumers, ameliorate social communication, and relieve stress of
people. Their needs encourage them to gather information for gratification
(Katz and Blumler).
needs: it refers to collecting information and increasing knowledge, through
documentaries, TV programs, or movies. In fact, they can get some skills from a
different field, such us environment, politics, economics. Internet users also
have search engines and browser to find any topic which would interest people.
needs: it concerns feelings and emotion of the mass. Media can bring different
sort of emotions depending on the message content such as happiness, sadness,
excitement, fears. There are many entertainments that bring emotional feelings
like concert live, soap opera, or dramatic movies.
integrative needs: it relates to personal values, morality and credibility. It
promotes good reputation like when people use Facebook to increase and enhance
their status for self-esteem need.
integrative needs: it develops interaction with family, friends, builds
relationship with society.
release needs: it helps people to escape from reality when they need to calm
down their nerves.
Applications of uses and gratifications:
In Jordan Cruickshank’s opinion about uses and
gratifications theory, the theory is perceived that Internet help people to
search products and people, the browser allows audience to identify their
perspective roles. Over the last 10 years, internet development changes
heavily, there are some websites that become more important for students to get
resources for education such as, Youtube (tutorial and videos), Wikipedia, blogs,
A researcher Len Ang stated the theory is very
individualistic, the psychology of individual is controlled by media when the
person is consuming it. Thus, media use can be useless if the content does not
concern with the inquiry of gratification. Indeed, audience may get less
attention to media content.
However, consumers are free to select how they use
media in life and how it impacts them, said Jordan Cruickshank. This theory is
pertinent in modern society to people who use digital media.
Though, the theory of uses and gratifications assumed
that audience are passive, researchers found out that media offers much
selectivity so that, audience consumes it unconsciously and does not expect the
effects caused by ignorance.
Shanon Hampton published that there is a huge progress
in use of online communication which can be advantageous or not for people who
use it. Internet become effective for audience as it offers many tools that are
useful for various generation of people. Social media is included and
classified to be powerful to users. According to Vinita Jain (At Maharshi
Dayanand College), social media provides different sources that make people
discover news, shares information and content. It is the association of both technology
and sociology which leads to democratization and changes.
It is essential and important to know and learn the
target audience to reach many audience, target audience can be categorized by
different variables: Geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral
(Kotler et al. 2014).
With all things that Internet gives to consumers
everyday, people become vulnerable and cannot resist on the effect caused by
media consumption. This brings to the application of magic bullet theory. The mass
media act likes a gun that shots or injects directly content to viewers as
magic bullet. It proves that the attack of the media is instant and very strong
to people (cited on the websites of Univesity of Twente). This theory is one of
the effects of social networking. Apart from that, social media like Facebook impacts
positively and negatively on education, communication, politics (Nick
McGillivray). Well, taking the benefit and drawback of using Facebook depends
on everyone’s choice.
The applications of uses and gratifications theory
adjusts the reasons and effects of mass media on the audience. According to
Sarah Turney, the theory surfaced in 1970 and studied the opinion of the public
to traditional media, the reaction of the receiver was taken into account while
receiving the message. The Uses and Gratifications theory focus more about the
mass rather than the media, it studies the behaviors of the media. Audience
consumes media to get satisfaction of their needs and their decisions help them
to find gratifications from media content. The researchers Katz and Blumler
studied the purpose of people needs on media, it comprehends cognitive needs,
affective needs, personal integrative needs, social integrative needs as well
as tension integrative needs. The relevant
criticisms on uses and gratifications theory proved that the approach did not
furnish successful interpretation of media use and choice (McQuail 1994). The
critics of the theory affirm the uncontrolled influences caused by media
content. The public cannot effectively manage what media diffuses to its
audience, However, this theory can be more applicable to modern society as mass
communication nowadays let us to be free to express and control everything we
get from media.