This study focuses on the major socio-cultural attributes of Facebook users in two different settings. In addition, the aim was to identify cross-cultural differences between two groups of respondents from the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and the University of Glamorgan in Wales, UK. Socio-cultural specificities were addressed by means of survey and qualitative methods. The Social Information Processing (SIP) Theory and Geerte Hofstede theory of “cultural dimensions” represented the epistemological framework for the study. Both Arab and Welsh students gave reasons for the relative importance of using Facebook. Although they shared similar features in terms of their preferences and uses, the study showed they differed in certain key points related to: cultural orientation, communication modes, and issues of privacy. Results indicate that there are socio-cultural affinities that are correlated with using Facebook among the sample users. Furthermore, it was evident that Facebook users’ identity reflected a case of certainty. Hence, communication scholars are encouraged to study the research implications of new media on the cultural level because it represents a new avenue in the genre of media studies.
- middle east