Despite the fact that research examining Internet gratifications is over two decades old, it has still failed to provide conceptual links depicting the relationships among Internet gratification, Internet users' characteristics, and heavy Internet use. To address these gaps, a survey-based study was conducted with a total of 1,914 adolescent Internet users (aged 12-18 years). The study results indicate that heavy Internet use is likely to be displayed by older male adolescents with more Internet use experience. In comparison, adolescents exhibiting higher reward seeking and improved academic performance are not likely to also exhibit heavy Internet use. Furthermore, adolescents seeking higher connecting gratification are likely to exhibit heavy Internet use, but an increase in their information-seeking gratification is associated with a reduction in their Internet use. In terms of predicting Internet gratifications, it was found that older female adolescents with higher academic performance, higher reward seeking, and lower daily Internet use tend to seek higher content gratification. Similarly, adolescents exhibiting higher approach avoidance and reward seeking tend to seek higher social and content gratifications. The study concludes with the theoretical and practical implications for various stakeholders, including Internet researchers and practitioners, educational researchers, and technology designers and developers.
- heavy Internet use
- Internet gratifications
- technology accessibility
- uses and gratifications research
- unwillingness to communicate scale