© Media Watch 9 (2) 257-266, 2018
ISSN 0976-0911 e-ISSN 2249-8818
Trends and Impact of WhatsApp as a Mode of Communication among Abu Dhabi Students
AMMAARAH KOOTBODIEN, NUNNA VENKATA PRASAD & MUHAMAD SHAM BIN SHAHKAT ALI
Abu Dhabi University, UAE
Online communication platforms have enabled millions of users to easily communicate with one another. WhatsApp is one of the most popular communication platforms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), especially among university students. To better understand the effectiveness of WhatsApp, this research examines the trends and impact of WhatsApp usage among undergraduate university students in Abu Dhabi. The study also investigates the use of emoji and text messages as a replacement to the interpersonal communication that conventionally occurs in the process of face-to-face interaction. By means of a survey, this study found that Abu Dhabi University students consider WhatsApp to be an effective interpersonal communication medium. Although miscommunications often occur while using WhatsApp, the perceptions of the respondents varied greatly due to their own experiences and feelings regarding its use.
Keywords: WhatsApp, interpersonal communication, medium, miscommunication, university students
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Ammaarah Kootbodien is heading the Public Relations and Social Media Management Department at Y & You Advertising in Cape Town, South Africa. Her research interest is how social media plays in shaping trends as well as the manner in which we communicate.
Dr. Nunna Venkata Prasadis an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Languages, College of Arts and Sciences, Abu Dhabi University. His research interest includes media literacy, film and television studies, television production, and environmental communication.
Dr. Muhamad Sham is an associate professor and head of the Department of Communication Studies and Languages, College of Arts and Sciences, Abu Dhabi University. His research interest includes ICT, media and society, advertising and corporate communication.